How to choose a care home – Part 3

21 Nov

elderly_womanHow to choose a care home – part 3

From the earlier blogs I’ve indicated, this is a very hard thing to advise on.  It is about moving home and where people feel “at home” is very much a matter of personal taste.  Following on from my last blog:

A common question that I’m asked or healthcare professionals advising are asked is “if this was your Mum/Dad where would you put them?”  The problem with that issue is the same as the point I’ve made above, where my mother would feel at home is not the same as where someone else’s mother would feel at home.

I have been to some homes where I would be happy to put my mother, if she were ever to need a care home, but which one would depend on her presentation and her care requirements at the time of needing to go into care.

So we are then down to the personal choices, can your loved one take in her own furniture.  Ask about things going missing, as people with dementia often pick up things belonging to others.  They see a watch and think “I have a watch, that must be mine” and pick it up, but it is easy to blame the loss of things like that on someone with dementia and I’ve no doubt that sometimes things are simply stolen because it is easy to do.  So think about this carefully when you decide what is to go into care with your loved one.  How precious is it?  How easy is it to steal / pick up?  How much will your loved one benefit from having it?  How much would your loved one notice if a precious thing wasn’t there?  How would you feel if it got lost, for whatever reason?

Personal choices can include things like pets.  If your loved one has a cat, can the cat come with them?  Does the home has pets and does your loved one like or loathe pets?  If the home has pets and your loved one is allergic, then this is not the right home for them, but it may be perfect for someone else.

Imagine your loved one living in that home, imagine a day, a whole 24 hour period – what will happen during that 24 hour period?  What if there is an emergency during that day, what do you imagine will happen?  Is your loved one going to be not just safe, but optimised and as happy as they can be?

Remember hindsight is a perfect vision and you are not making the decision with the benefit of hindsight, you have to make the decision with the information you have.  And you have to live with the decision, but if you’ve made the decision and with hindsight you would do something different, just remember you didn’t have that benefit.  Once you’ve mentally made a decision, sleep on it, does your decision still stress you?  Putting a loved one into care is always stressful, so which care home stresses you the least?  If you can live with the decision it is probably the right decision.

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