Finding the right care is important; it will change the way you live now and the quality of your life in the future.
If you are finding it difficult to manage at home, a care home is one option. It is very important, however, that you fully consider all your options before moving into residential care, especially if you may need to sell your home to fund your care.
There may be help available which would allow you to go on living in your own home. You might be able to have your home adapted to make it easier to get around. Or you may be in a position to consider downsizing. This could release equity which may supplement your income and make it easier to have some help with housework and maintenance. See our Managing at home information section.
Have you explored what equipment is available which may help you to manage daily tasks? Have you investigated all the 'telecare' technology you can have installed in your home to keep you safe and give you and your family peace of mind - pendant alarms, falls detectors, motion sensors?
Have you searched our Community Directory for local support groups and services?
If you feel you need 24 hour care, there are also other residential options you could consider. Extra carehousing is becoming a popular alternative to a care home: you rent or buy your own apartment or bungalow but have access to communal facilities and social activities, if you want to join in, and there is 24/7 care available on-site.
You will also need to consider the cost of paying for care.
The Association of Independent Care
The National Careline provides support and information to the elderly, their carers and families on a range of issues. Helpline 0800 0699 784.
If you think that you need more personal care, or nursing care, and do not feel that staying at home is right for you, moving into a care home can be a good option. It can offer the opportunity to make new friends and provide a safe, comfortable place to live.
Your care needs
Some residential care homes offer nursing care and some do not, so it is important to understand what kind of care you need. Talk to your doctor or hospital consultant for professional advice if you think you need nursing care. You will also need to know what type of care you will need (for example: for old age, physical disability, dementia, learning disability) so that you can focus on homes that are registered for these care needs.
Long and short stay care
As well as providing residential care, some homes offer
Where you live
Choosing a care home in the same area as you currently live in would mean that you would still be able to see your friends and keep your doctor. If your family live in another area, you might want to move to a home nearer to them.
The size of the home and facilities offered
Care homes vary greatly in their size, some have as many as 100 people with many facilities while others are more like a small family home with just have one or two residents. There are also some homes that are willing to accommodate couples in their double rooms.
You may have a pet that you would like to take with you. You need to check whether this would be possible. If not, ask if the home will allow others to bring pets in to visit you. If you cannot keep your pet with you, you might ask a family member, neighbour or friend to help.
Other sources of help:
The Cinnamon Trust
All care homes and nursing homes must be registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) who regulate and inspect them. Before arranging to visit any homes, search for the home on the CQC website to check that they are still registered with CQC and to read their latest inspection report. Our care homes search results link to the latest reports for each home.
Make arrangements to visit the home as this will give you a chance to meet the staff and residents and talk to them about the home. It is essential that you are happy in the home you choose to live in. If you are not physically well enough to visit the home you should ask someone who knows what you want to visit on your behalf.3. Plan your questions
You will have a lot to think about on your first visit - your first impressions of staff and residents, physical features of the building, details of the rooms, arrangements about personal possessions and day-to-day life as well as financial matters.
It is a good idea to think of all the questions you may have before you go and to take them with you when you visit.
You should make sure that before you move into a home you are given a
The contract should confirm exactly what you will be paying each week and what that charge covers. For example, it might tell you that laundry for bedding and clothes is included, but that any dry cleaning would be charged extra. You need to be clear about all extra charges before you move in, and how and when the price you pay will be reviewed
The contract should also tell you:
If you are planning to give up your home and move into a care home, don't make a hasty decision. When you have found what you think is the right home for you, arrange to spend a trial period there for a few weeks before you make your final decision.
Even if you go into a home in an emergency, you should still think about your first four weeks as a trial period. You should not make arrangements to sell or give up the tenancy on your existing home until after the trial period and when you are sure that you have found the right care home for you.
Once you have moved into a care home, it can take a while to settle in as this will have been a major change in your life. It will take some time for you, the staff and other residents to get to know each other and for you to get used to new routines and activities.
You will also need to know what you should be able to expect from the care home and what to do if you are worried about your or someone else's safety.
If you are unsure or worried about anything, try to talk to a member of staff about your concerns. If you are a relative or friend of someone living in a care home and have concerns about the care they are receiving, try talking to the manager or whoever is in charge.
All care providers must have procedures for handling complaints.
If you are worried about someone’s safety, make your concerns known to a person in authority that you feel comfortable talking to.
If you have concerns or want to report abuse phone Hampshire Adult Services on 0300 555 1386 or the police on 101.
In an emergency, or if you or someone else is in immediate danger, phone 999.
Hampshire Safeguarding Adults Board (HSAB) has information about Safeguarding Adults in Hampshire, including advice, leaflets and policy documents.
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) monitors, inspects and regulates health and social care services, protecting people’s health, wellbeing and human rights, and enabling them to live free from harm, abuse and neglect.
If Hampshire County Council, or a council in another area, has agreed to fund you in a care home you are free to choose a home anywhere in England, Wales, or Scotland. For example, you may wish to move to be near your family or back to the area where you were brought up. If you move to another area, you will need to arrange for a cross-border placement with the council. If a council is paying your fees, and you move to a different area, you will always be paid for by the council that originally assessed your needs.
The Care Act ensures that people receive proper 'continuity of care' when they move from one place to another. This "continuity" means that a person receiving care and support in one area will continue to receive care on the day of their arrival in the new area.
If you want to move to another area, you (or someone on your behalf) must tell the council where you plan to live in future (known as the "second council") about your intentions.
After the second council has been
Your local council is only obliged to pay enough to cover the cost of the care you need in the area you require. It is therefore important to find out the cost of care homes in that area. You could also find out how much the local council in that area pays for places which it is funding.
Care homes will sometimes charge a different rate if a person is being paid for by the council compared with a person who is paying his/her own fees. Therefore, when you are looking for a care home place, it is important to tell the care home that your fees will be the responsibility of your local council.
It is very important, before you make any final decision, to consider the financial aspects of moving to a care home, whether you are funding your own care or a local authority is funding your place.
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Page Reference: About care homes and nursing homes