How To Find The Perfect Care Home
When your loved ones get to the age or health condition where they need full-time care, you have an important decision to make – how to find the ideal care home. This is a decision you don’t want to get wrong, as the consequences of choosing a bad care home can put their health or even life in jeopardy.
But choosing the right care home isn’t easy. You need to consider several different factors and make sure that everything is up to standard before signing your loved one up to full-time care.
This brief how-to guide will cover everything you need to know about choosing a care home that ticks all the boxes.
We will outline 6 key steps that you should follow to find the ideal care home. Once you’ve worked through them thoroughly, you will have enough information to decide on the perfect care home.
1. Understand which type of care home is ideal
Something that many people don’t consider when they begin their search for the perfect care home, is that there are several different types, all offering different services and levels of care.
Here is a rundown of some of the different types of care homes and accommodation available:
- Permanent care – this refers to round-the-clock care that is for an indefinite period, usually in a residential care home.
- Temporary care – also referred to as respite care, this is temporary round-the-clock care, usually in a residential home, but only for a set, limited period of time, e.g. two weeks or three months.
- Residential care – refers to a care home that provides full-time accommodation, personal care, and meals.
- Nursing home – similar to a care home, but medical assistance and care is provided as well as personal care. This type of care home is ideal for people with medical conditions such as dementia or physical disabilities.
- Assisted living care – not technically a care home, but there are elements of care. Residents live independently, but there is a warden in the building who is on call to help residents if they need it.
2. Decide on the most convenient location
The most convenient location refers to the best place for you and your loved one who will become a resident at the care home. You want to be able to visit relatively often and also be on-call if an incident happens.
Ideally, the location will be close to where you live, as well as other family and friends, so that you all get to visit the loved one. The last thing you want is for your loved one to feel isolated or lonely, and you probably don’t want to have the inconvenience of taking a long journey to visit them either.
In a perfect world, the care home will be near to where the elderly or infirm person lived previously, as the area will feel more familiar to them.
Also, you need to factor in the cost. Care homes in some areas cost a lot more than those in others, so it’s worth doing some research into which location best fits your budget.
3. Define your budget
As mentioned in the previous step, the cost of care homes vary from place to place. Although it may not be nice to put a price tag on your loved one’s care, you need to be realistic about the situation and decide how much you are willing to spend, or how far your loved one’s funds will stretch.
4. Are the care workers background checked?
We’ve all seen the horror stories in the news of undercover investigators secretly filming abuse and neglect in care homes. Many of these shocking scenes can be avoided by the care home managers running thorough background checks.
Background checks should include reference checks, character references, and DBS checks to search through every employee’s criminal record. Any person working in a job role that involves working with vulnerable adults or children should receive the highest level of DBS check, known as the Enhanced DBS Check with barred list.
If you’re unsure, ask the care home manager whether all the staff are DBS checked and what their policy is on the safeguarding of vulnerable adults.
5. Check any inspection reports
In the UK, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) is responsible for inspecting care homes. All care homes are checked and inspected on a regular basis to make sure that they are up to the required standard.
All the CQC inspection reports are published online in the NHS Find Care Homes tool which is quick and easy to use, so there’s no excuse for not checking out the latest report as it will help you to make a more informed decision on your loved one’s care.
6. Get a feel for the care home
Don’t make the mistake of just choosing a care home based on the inspection report and brochure. Make sure you visit the home and meet with some of the staff. Ask them whether the residents do any extra activities such as day trips and enrichment activities like art sessions or live music performances.
The best care homes have programmes of events throughout the year that residents can get involved with.
Ready to make your decision?
Now that you’ve followed the 6 steps above, you should be much more prepared to make a final decision regarding the care of your loved one and find them the perfect care home to suit their needs.
If you want to find out more about DBS checks, then get in touch with one of our expert team today who would be more than happy to help.