For the Future – Care homes for yourself of a family member

By | January 22, 2013

While it is not the goal of most to move into a care home, sometimes factors in life make it necessary for yourself of a family member. Here are some points to keep in mind in making the best decision.

Moving to a Care Home: make it a positive experience

 With the UK’s ever increasing life expectancy, the likelihood is that at some point we will need to make some arrangements for our own care. Living longer puts us all at drastically increased risk of being diagnosed with dementia alone, with the proportion of sufferers currently doubling for every 5 year age group.  David Cameron has tipped Alzheimer care as “one of the greatest challenges of our time”, as the percentage of people living in care with the disease reaches 64%.

When the time comes to move into a nursing home, it can bring a great deal of emotional upheaval to both the resident and the family.  Feelings of guilt, loss, sadness and even failure, can be overwhelming.

For the arrangement to work, it is important for the resident to feel reassured that moving to a care home is a positive step.

Choose the right home

Choosing the right kind of the home is the first – imperative – step.  There are a number of types of home catering for different severities of illness, encompassing:

  • Care homes with nursing care
  • Care homes without nursing care
  • Retirement homes
  • Sheltered housing
  • Close Care Retirement Properties or Assisted living

To ensure that the person moving feels comfortable in their new surroundings, some thought should be dedicated to identifying their individual capabilities and needs.

A person who is still perfectly independent day-to-day but worries about physical frailties, such as falling when nobody’s around, might choose to go into assisted living or sheltered housing.  Here, interference from others is minimal, but help is soon at hand if required.

Similarly, a person with advancing physical frailties might still struggle with daily living in this kind of facility, and may need to select a care home with round-the-clock care.

If possible, it’s best to ensure that people are placed in a nursing home with others suffering from similar conditions, and with like-minded dispositions.  In Amsterdam, a special village has been set up for sufferers of dementia that caters entirely for the needs of people with this condition.

A government guide to finding the ideal care home is available here.

Peace of mind

One of the most attractive aspects of moving into a nursing home for many is that daily chores become a thing of the past. Although pride can deter many from making the decision to move into a care home, the fact is that in later life the process of daily living gets harder.

Many care homes offer an excellent service, and will tailor care to the needs of the individual.  For many, having the freedom to do everything they’re capable of doing, and know that they will be looked after if necessary can actually be liberating especially if you know the nurses have done their RN-to-BSN online program.

Personalise the room

It is important for people to have at least a few familiar or sentimental items around them. This could be a particular blanket for the bed, family photographs and ornaments, or even a bedside lamp.  Take time to make the new accommodation feel personal, and this will really help to offer comfort and aid the difficult transition from independent living.

This article was contributed by Laura Moulden on behalf of Cheselden.  Visit their website to find out how the government may be obliged to refund care home costs through unclaimed NHS Continuing Care funding.