An essential guide to care homes

There are few things in life that are as important (or as expensive) as choosing a care home. Not only do you have to worry for your relative (or for yourself) as to how they’ll adapt to their new environment, but you also have to entrust your loved one with people that you barely know.

If you’re facing this difficult decision then this guide will talk you through the factors you should be considering when choosing a care home.

Researching potential care homes

The Quality Care Commission website
The Quality Care Commission are an organisation that has the sole goal of reviewing care home and medical establishments. If, after a review, an establishment is found to be lacking in any area (such as standard of care, food or health and safety procedures) then the QCC advise on certain points and return after a set period to see if the areas have been improved upon. These reports are freely available on almost all care homes so check out their website for details on the prospective homes that you’re looking at.
Booking an appointment
When asking to visit a potential care home you should ask if you can pop in at any time. If a care home only has set time appointments then this may mean that they can prepare for your visit. Really you want to see the care home in operation during normal activity, not where they may organise elements to display it in its best light.
Additionally you should also pay attention to how residents interact with employees and consider whether they generally look happy. Lastly you should ask about day to day routines and weekly activities. Good care homes will organise various activities on at least a weekly basis.

Considering the advantages of care homes

There are few main advantages of the care homes that can help you determine your decision:

* The staff is experienced and qualified.

* Residents receive personal assistance from trained nurses.

* There is 24/7 care provided.

* Taking medicines is supervised.

* Might be cheaper than having care at home /especially of special care needed/.

Care home expenses
Paying for a care home is extremely complex. Many can feel overwhelmed at the complexity of care home expenses, so it is advisable that you talk at length with an official advisor to gain a full idea of how the system works.
The rate that you pay will differ from care home to care home (that is presuming the person has assets); the flat fee will be covered by the Government whilst the person’s house is sold.
The anomaly with care home payments is that there is a short fall between the payments provided and a ‘top up’ fee. This difference must be met by a third party as the assets of the person going into care are effectively frozen.
Following the house sale the person then repays the initial amount, as well as meeting the ongoing payments. This continues until the person’s assets reach a certain level, after which the care home fees are completely covered by the Government; generally this is set at £24,000.

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