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Choosing care on behalf of a relative

Choosing care on behalf of a relative

The move to a care home can happen for a number of reasons but in some cases, it might be left up to you, their relative, to make the decision of where your loved one goes for their long term residential stay.

Arranging care can be a difficult time for everyone involved. As the relative or carer, you may feel pressure to make the right choice, continue to provide support and care, and even experience guilt and feeling like you’re ‘losing’ your loved one – but this isn’t the case.

We know this move can be difficult both emotionally and practically, but there are things you can do to make the transition smoother – it’s often the best option for all involved.

Prepare the person from the beginning

No matter how advanced a condition may be, it’s important to let your relative know that the move is taking place, and to plan with them as much as possible. Staying positive and making the benefits of potential care homes very clear means you’re able to give them the choice and control.

If they have particular interests or activities that they’d like to continue, use this as a foundation for building up a picture of what they want from a care home, and how they can continue to spend time doing things that will feel like ‘normality’.

Putting in place power of attorney often means peace of mind for both parties. You can feel secure in the knowledge that you can help make decisions on things like finances and property, and your loved one may feel relieved that the responsibility no longer lies with them.

Have a checklist

When looking for the ideal care home it’s a great idea to sit down with your loved one and go through all the things they expect in terms of care, security, lifestyle, types of room and joining a community.

Start by going to Social Services or The Elderly Accommodation Counsel to get a list of the care homes local to your area and go from there. There will be so much information to take in initially, but Age UK have created a very useful checklist guide of what to look for which will help you to whittle down your options.

Finding the right care home for your relative is a very personal decision. When you’re looking at potential choices, the most important thing is to pay attention to your first impressions – are you warmly welcoming? Are staff engaging with your relative? Is the care home clean, tidy and professional? Does it feel like the other residents are happy?

Take a look at our moving into a care home checklist when weighing up your options.

How to check the quality of a care home

Once you’ve narrowed your search down, it’s always best to check that everything is above board in terms of their regulations and certifications. The Care Quality Commission (CQC) are an independent regulatory body that help care homes reach and surpass the minimum quality standards. Providing improvement guidance, they ensure that proper residential care is available to all.

The CQC have a quality of care checker on their website, so use it to search care homes that you are considering for your relative. You can even look over historical reports as well, so if there’s been issues in the past, they will come to light. The Latest CQC report for Friary Care – Friary House and Kingsley Court, are available online for you to check.

If you’re looking for a care home in Dorset for your relative, our two Weymouth care homes are available to help you with any questions you may have about their stay. If you would like to arrange a visit or discuss your residential care needs please call Peter Fry 01305 78 78 11.