What to expect in a care home

Sadly, you or your loved one may have gotten to that point in life when basic self-care becomes a challenge. Living to a ripe old age can sometimes come with some “perks,” right?

Well, whether your loved one now has dementia or has gotten too feeble to handle their own domestic needs due to age, a care home can be the best solution.


What exactly is a care home?

A care home is usually an institution where people who are unable to look after themselves are cared for. The property will often be like a regular home, like a mansion, but with offices and large homely areas where the seniors can socialize and feel at home.

A care home isn’t essentially a place to get medical care. Rather, it is a place where older adults can live their final years comfortably. They get all the help they need for their day-to-day living, such as bathing, going to the toilet, feeding, and grooming.

Caring for a parent who has dementia or some other age-associated condition can be quite some challenge. Knowing that this same person cared for you as an infant up to when you left home, you want to ensure they get as much care as they deserve and that they are treated with respect.

But since you have a job and family to cater to, taking that parent to a care home is one of the best choices you can make.

But what exactly should you expect in a care home? What kind of condition are you subjecting your elderly loved one to when you decide to put them in a care home?


Things to expect

 in a care home

1.     Genuine companionship

Ideally, a care home should be a place where you can converse freely with everyone, just as you would in your own home. Imagine a place alive with conversation and good humour, your fellow elderlies and staff on a first name basis. Life would be exciting.

One’s final days do not have to be gruelling. Like the one you’d like to live or put your parent, a good care home must continually endeavour to create such a high-spirited and homely environment. This is one thing to watch out for in a care home.

If you discover the environment to be too formal and bleak on your first day, it’s a red flag. Genuine companionship and happy conversations are two things you’d find in a good care home.


2.     Different room types

Just as with your home, a care facility will typically have different room patterns and structures. You may find standard rooms, executive rooms, and deluxe rooms, and you’d likely h

ave to choose for yourself or your incapacitated parent. Every room must be tailored to offer the occupant comfort and maintain a befitting quality of life.

3.     You have the right to complain

If you’re not happy with the care you or your elderly loved one is receiving in the care home, there are steps you can take. Most issues can be resolved by speaking with the care home manager, especially when the complaint is against a staff member. If nothing is done after some time, you can contact the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman.

Sometimes, the care home may report that your loved one refused care, which was why they got less than the quality of service you expected. Make sure the carer has a written record of when and how your loved one refused the care, and discuss what solutions there could be to help the situation.


4.     Wheelchair access

You’ll usually find this in the care home’s brochure or website, but it doesn’t hurt to call them and confirm. Your parent may need a wheelchair to aid mobility even when they’re not physically disabled.

A condition like dementia, especially vascular dementia and frontotemporal dementia, can cause movement problems in seniors. So if that’s the case with your elderly loved one, you want to be sure that they will get all the equipment and accessories they need to aid their quality of life.


5.     Lounge, leisure areas, and shop

One thing you should look out for and expect in a care home is an active lifestyle. A complete sedentary life is never good, not even for seniors in care homes. They need to be able to walk about, lounge and engage in physical activities just as they would when on their property. It doesn’t have to be a golf course; a lounge where the residents and carers can all hang out and converse freely is an essential part of a good care home.

When you check the care home for the first time, observe the residents:

  • Do they seem happy?
  • Can you find staff chatting cheerfully with the residents?

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