Choosing a care home for a loved one is a significant decision that requires careful consideration. In the UK, where the demand for quality care services is high, finding the right care home is crucial. To help guide you through this process, here are our essential tips on what to look for when exploring care homes.
1. Read the CQC report
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the independent regulator of health and adult social care in England. They make sure care services provide people with safe, effective, compassionate, high-quality care and advise services on where to improve. They publish reports about all social and health care services - these are done every 5 years (with a 1 year follow-up for those that require improvement).
Reports can be found at www.cqc.or.uk , and you can just use their search tool to find the home you are looking at. This is a very important place to start as you want to make sure they have a Good or higher rating.
Another thing to look for is the date of the last CQC report, as a lot can change in 2-3 years.
When you look around a home you can ask any questions about concerns you may have about a report you have read (this will show them you have done your homework, and they will have to provide you with a satisfactory answer).
2. Use your senses
When looking around a home identify any unpleasant smells. Does it feel homely? Are residents well dressed? This can give you an easy idea on whether the home is being kept clean, and the residents are being taken care of.
3. Ask for pamphlets
Ask for a brochure, activity details, and a sample menu - a good home will have these available for you to look at. A good care home should offer a variety of social and recreational activities to keep residents engaged and stimulated as well as nutritious and well-balanced diet options. Check if they cater for different dietary requirements if needed.
4. Are they accommodating to you?
Take note of how helpful they were if you called them up, and how quickly they could accommodate your visit. Remember that this is not a complete deciding factor as a lot of homes might be understaffed so they might be putting their energy into caring towards their residents, but this can give a good inclination of the nature of the staff there.
When you arrive, how did they treat you? Are they smiley staff, did they give you a warm welcome, and did they give you privacy to discuss your loved ones' needs with them?
5. Feedback and testimonials
Search for homes on Carehome.co.uk. Reviews about homes are posted on this site and a good home should also have lots of pictures of the home, and activities, and can give you a feel for the home. Testimonials from current residents and feedback from family members can provide valuable insights into the day-to-day experiences of residents.
6. Don't stress!
Easy to say, but try not to stress over this and take your time if you can, you will know when you find the right home and you will feel a lot better knowing you have considered various options and gone with what is best for your family.
If you have access to myTamarin Elder Care support with your employee, book a 1-1 session with one of our experts who can help you navigate the complexities of this process.