Tough Decisions - Choosing a Care Home

Being diagnosed with dementia can bring mixed emotions for the person and have a rippled effect on their family and friends. Lots of thoughts and questions can also race through people’s minds…..What do we do now? Where do we go if we need support? Do we need to plan?

It can be very overwhelming.

Working in the dementia and health and social care sector, I speak to many people living with dementia and their carers. A question I ask a lot is:  “Is there anything you’re most worried about?”  The two replies I come across the most are: “Losing my independence and dignity.” and “Going into hospital or a care home.”

"I'm not going into a care home!"

“I’m not going in a care home” is a response I heard from my father-in-law, Jim, when I asked him this question 6 months ago. Sadly, after a bad fall at home he was admitted to hospital. His health declined over days and months and a decision was made by health care professionals and our family that it was unsafe for him to return home.

The search for a care home began – along with the emotions of guilt, uncertainty, and worry.

top tips when looking for the right kind of care home for your loved one.

  • Location – for us, it was important for Jim to be nearby.
  • CQC rating – Although not crucial, having a “Good” or “Outstanding” is better than “requires improvement” or “inadequate”.
  • Visiting homes to get a feel and ask important questions such as:
  • Being observant when visiting:
    • were residents happy?
    • How did staff respond to them?
    • What activities did the home do?
    • Would they encourage the person if they wished to get involved?
    • Is there a lift/garden/ outdoor spaces?
    • Can family and friends visit easily?
    • Can you bring your own personal items?
    • Is it homely/welcoming?
    • What kind of community services are involved? (i.e GP, district nurses, chiropodist, pharmacy etc.)
    • What is the pet policy? (we wanted to bring our family dog Cassie in to visit)

Not an easy decision, the weight of responsibility can weigh very heavily on family members who contribute to making this decision and who support their loved one.

You are the one who knows your family member more than anyone, plus what’s important to them and you! It’s like viewing houses, you know when you’ve found the right one!

Stay up-to-date

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About Lancashire Dementia Training and Consultancy

Lancashire Dementia Training and Consultancy is an organisation run by Rachel Yates Hoyles, who has first-hand experience of supporting a family member living with dementia, plus years of training and experience in this field.

“We hear so much these days about dementia and probably all know a person and family that is affected. There are 850,000 people with dementia in the UK, with numbers set to rise to over 1 million by 2025 and 2 million by 2051.

“225,000 people will develop dementia this year, that’s one every three minutes. Lancashire currently has over 10,300 people with a dementia diagnosis of which two thirds of people live at home.”

Rachel is passionate about raising awareness of dementia and sharing dementia knowledge to empower others.

She offers a range of training and consultancy sessions which are bespoke to you, your staff and/or service needs. She uses a flexible and friendly approach and can adapt learning sessions and conversations to encourage a positive and fun, learning and inspiring culture that supports creativity and innovation.

Read more about Rachel’s personal journey here