So my elderly mum who is in her 90’s has recently decided that she wants to go into a care home, she has been finding things hard to do and get about recently and has a few falls lately, luckily my sister lives nearby to help but feels that she would be better in a care home. We have found one nearby and in the process of getting things organised and sorting out finances etc. Anyone else been through this and any advice, thanks.
My mother went into a care home, but it was organised by the social services dept as I lived miles away
But here’s a warning; unpleasant but you hear tales -
Look after your valuables, sentimental items, and so on, as some of the people in care homes can be light fingered, both staff and residents
Hi Fitou, Care homes vary considerably in my experience, just the same as any other business.
Personally I would not book her in the first one I saw, I would visit at least three so you have something to compare.
Make an appointment to speak with the Managers, ask them everything you would like to know, then go home and compare answers.
Ask to be shown around, and daft as it might sound, sniff the place as you walk round. I say this for a reason. One place I checked for my Mum stunk! Even in the reception area. It stunk of stale pee. That put me off for a start, as with all the cleaning products at their disposal nowadays, there is no need for that at all.
If possible, chat to some other residents too. Some of them can tell you things the staff won’t mention.
Lastly, check with these people. Look up the place you have in mind, and read the Care commission’s report.
Best of luck, and hope your Mum settles in well.
Good advice Mups
When Mr Ms 98 year old aunt needed to go into a care home we looked at quite a few some were dire .
As it happened she died before making a choice became necessary .
I looked at 14 over the course of a few weeks before I made my choice.
My advice would be:
Don’t make an appointment, just turn up, avoiding lunchtimes. If they have anything to hide they will tell you to go back. Only 2 asked me to go back and I didn’t!
If you smell wee, walk away. The home my Mum lived in never, ever smelled of anything nasty and these days no good home should.
If there are buzzers and alarms going off all the time there will be no peace at all. My Mum’s home had buzzers which just went off on the careworkers belts so everybody else wasn’t disturbed.
Go with your gut. If the staff are friendly and you see them interacting with other residents listen to how they address them. I can tell immediately whether they are genuine or just putting it on.
Don’t take too much notice of what they write in posh brochures. Care homes can fool people, yes even the CQC by claiming they offer things like outings, activities, meetings with families etc when nothing like this happens.
I assume your Mum will be self funding as you don’t mention social services. You will probably looking at around £1,000 a week plus toiletries, hairdressing, chiropodist etc.
If you see visitors in the car park or outside ask their opinions. Most people are happy to advise but bear in mind that some people will be getting all their care funded by social services and they will therefore usually speak highly of it because they are not having to help with funding.
Let us know how you get on and good luck.
The CQC are supposed to do a great job but in reality they often don’t. So read their reports with a pinch of salt.
I reported one care home for uncaring staff, lying about outings, very poor meal portions, having cold rooms in winter and loads of other stuff and they took no notice.
My friend had to move her Mum from one care home because they treated her Mum in a nasty fashion and her daughter visited late one autumn afternoon and through her ground floor window she witnessed this and saw her Gran crying. CQC did nothing about that either.
When you finally choose one - and I know this may sound obvious - but make sure all her clothing is well labelled. Everything will be thrown in the big washers on the same programme, so don’t send things that need special care, because they won’t bother.
And make a huge fuss if you go to visit and find clothes missing from her wardrobe, or see other residents wearing things that you know are hers. We bought my MiL two new dressing gowns because we were told by the staff she needed them. They disappeared very quickly and we never saw them again, despite the fuss we made. We soon realised that when they said she needed some item of clothing or other, what they really meant was some of the other residents needed them, and as MiL was self-funding, well she could afford it, couldn’t she? When she needed new knickers, I made a point of marking them all in thick permanent marker, on the outside, in 1" letters. I think they got the message then - every time we visited, there they all were, in her top drawer.
Bear in mind that if you’re self-funding, you will be subsidising the local authority residents. There is a limit to what the local authority will pay, and it’s not enough, so guess who plugs the gap? Yes, the self-funding residents. Not much you can do about that I’m afraid.
Ask if there are activity co-ordinators and if you can meet them. Good homes employ people to do this, my friend is one
If they let you meet one, ask how many hours they work, how many there are of them and ask about the activities they provide and can you see them
They’ll be able to give you a good idea about what life is really like there
My friend organises crafts, gardening, film afternoons, exercise sessions, silent disco, theatre, cinema, library books, days out, singing, performances by local entertainers, barbecues, garden parties, all sorts. And she takes their orders and gets things from the shops for them and accompanies them on hospital appointments
Good care homes will have a couple of people like this and if they don’t, be a bit suspicious
My Aunt went into a sheltered housing and my ti[ to you is “talk to families” but remember some people are not happy whatever people do go different times of the day and you soon get a feel for it. We went to two identical and run by same company one felt fantastic one felt like “something wrong here” never put my finger on it but we all has the same feeling…
To be fair, Flowerpower, I don’t agree with that.
Apart from I think it would be rather rude to just walk in and demand to be escorted around.
The Manager has often got her day planned, and if people just turn up with no warning, and expect to take up an hour or more of her time, it may not be possible.
How do you know if she has a Meeting for a start?
Or what if she has an appointment, or she is expecting others who are to be shown round, or people from Head Office coming etc… etc…
Just because they may ask you to make an apointment to come back, doesn’t always mean they are up to no good at all. It can genuinly just mean they have a very busy day on.
We’ll have to agree to disagree then Mups.
Most places you visit the Manager doesn’t show you around anyway, they get a member of staff to do it. Nobody would ever allocate an hour.
Some homes are so strict that they really prefer families not to visit at all so they have crazy visiting times and they don’t like you visiting in the evening even on lovely summer evenings when you could easily sit outside with your loved one, They like to “control” everything including visitors and that’s not fair as they usually say in their brochure “you should treat this as your home.” that’s a load of bull because if you wanted to pop round and see your Mum you would drop by at any time.
If you make an appointment they usually make a big effort to impress with coffee and biscuits, glossy leaflets and I don’t want that I want to see it warts and all!
You’ve obvikously had some bad experiences Flowerpower, but it was nothing remotely like you describe in the home I worked in for the last 10 years before retirement, nor in the care work I did for a few years before that, either.
It’s a pity you’ve only come across the bad places, when there are many kind people too.
Well having read yhis thread right through, l am now going to research
a suitable suicide pill !!
Im not prepared to waste any money on crap like tthat !!
I didn’t say that at all Mups. A couple of homes I looked at were really good but then they had long waiting lists and we couldn’t wait. Several stunk of pee. Some were like prisons and some didn’t have ensuites which my Mum insisted on.
After visiting 14 I found the right one where my Mum was happy for 3 years and never once did I have to complain about anything. The staff were lovely, Mum’s room was large and bright and sunny, the food was excellent and I often stayed for lunch with her. We were welcome to visit her or take her out any time we liked.
At my Mum’s home, all their washing was done separately. We never lost a single thing. We bought Stikins which are fantastic highly adhesive labels which can go in clothes, shoes, ornaments etc.
@Donkeyman I have say that when my time comes that I can’t be independent enough to make my own choices for the day, I think moving into a care home would not even be on the list of solutions at all, and I wouldn’t want my kids looking after me either.
Marge’s mother keeps saying that she’ll go into a care home, and is willing to pay for a good one. However, she keeps making excuses not to.
I feel sorry for Marge, as she goes over from Stockport to Bradford at least once every week to do things for her, and to take her for a run out (in the car: she can’t run!).
Marge’s sister lives darn sarf in Sussex and her brother even further in Cornwall, so neither of them make the journey to do what Marge does every week.
We’ve even been looking round at care homes locally to us, which would make Marge’s life a lot easier as she need only walk a few yards to see her mother, but no, the old bat keeps making excuses that she doesn’t want to leave her house.
As long as Marge runs about after her, she seems not to care about the inconvenience put on Marge.
I do think its very unfair that only one member of a family of many, takes to do with looking after elderly parents…it’s a common theme in families, sadly. Is there a chance of a chat about this and try to even the load a bit? And in support of her mum, it must be a really hard decision to give up on her own home, but again, it does sound like Marge is being taken advantage of on all counts
Yes, I sometimes wonder whether her brother and sister both decided to move darn sarf all those years ago because they knew what was coming!
Yes, and I reckon that is why my brother buggered off to Devon too!
For 7 years I looked after my poor old Mum, going over there most days to see her.
I did her garden, took her to doctors and hospital appointments, got her shopping, did her banking,
and everything else that goes with looking after someone.
My brother never lifted a finger, not even to help me with her funeral eventually. And then, his grand finale was, he never even turned up to his own Mum’s funeral. That hurt me more than words can say.