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Finding the Best Care Home

Friday, July 19, 2019


Finding a care home that is best for you involves a lot of time and effort. If you don’t know what to look out for and what questions to ask it can be a very daunting task, so here are the fundamentals of finding a care home, and some questions you should ask yourself when visiting potential homes.


Fundamental first steps

Find a home that provides the type and level of care you require – they aren’t all the same.

 Enquire into waiting times and current vacancies.

 Call up and ask to speak to a member of staff after looking at their website or the brochure.

 Have a good look at their most recent inspection report, which can be found on the CQC website or feel free to ask the home directly for their inspection report.

Questions to ask

First impressions

Look at the ground and the actual building – are they kept tidy and safe and is the home clean and comfortable? Furthermore, is there an outdoor space that is accessible, and does it feel welcoming? As for the staff, are they polite and personable upon first meeting them? Pay close attention to first impressions – they say a lot.

Accessibility

Can you and other important family members and friends travel to the location, and are there appropriate parking spaces or travel links to accommodate this? Also think about nearby facilities, such as shops, and look at whether all these areas are accessible.

Staff

Are the staff members attentive and polite? Are they knowledgeable and personable when it comes to those staying in the homes? Will there always be someone on duty and what is the ratio of staff to residents like during the day and night? What sort of training do staff have, is there a high turnover and what is the gender balance like? The right answers to these questions could be indicative of a healthy environment for residents.

Meeting care needs

How does the home assess new residents and their needs before accepting them into the home? Do residents have a dedicated member of staff or multiple members and are the residents and their families involved in conversations and decisions about their care? Pay close attention to the other residents there – what are their needs like compared to what you are looking for, and if your needs change can this be accommodated? Look at the bathrooms and toilets – are they safe and accessible? What is the home’s policy on incontinence and do they have pads and catheters on hand? Another important thing to ask is what links the home has to local GPs, hospitals, opticians and other facilities. 

Who decides when a health check is required, and how do residents travel to these appointments? If a resident has more specialised needs such as dementia, will they receive extra support for these visits? Most importantly, if a resident falls ill, what actions are taken and how are family members notified? Furthermore, does the home offer end of life care? It is important to seek answers to all of these questions to fully vet a home and ensure you know what you need and what you will receive. Find a care home in North Devon here: http://eastleighcarehomes.co.uk/locations/care-homes-north-devon/.
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