A very well liked member of the Wednesday (Memory) Group has recently left us to go into permanent, residential care. His rapidly deteriorating physical and mental health, together with his wife’s health problems meant that she was no longer able to give him the care he needed in their own home and the hunt for a suitable care home began.
This is a very difficult time for a family carer. The high cost of care fees, stories in the press about poor standards in care homes together with a feeling of having let their loved one down by their inability to continue to look after them makes an already fraught situation worse. How can anyone know whether a particular care home will be the right one for the person they love?
A great deal of help is available online. The Alzheimer’s Society has a leaflet called ‘Selecting a Care Home’ which offers lots of helpful advice. The NHS Choices website lets you search for care homes in the area you want and gives you an overview of each home and the service it provides, together with key facts such as Care Quality Commission rating with a link to the CQC report and even food hygiene ratings. Independent Age offers advice and support and its website is easy to negotiate. Finally, AgeUK has an excellent section on Finding a Care Home.
If you’re not online at home you can use the computers at the library or at Cosmic Cottage, Grove Street Methodist Church on Fridays. There is, of course, no substitute for visiting care homes yourself to decide which is the right place for the person you love. Everyone is different and what is perfect for one may be anathema to another. Visit, talk to staff, see how people behave and get a feel of the atmosphere of the place. It’s a big decision; take your time and get as much information and advice as you can.
For more information on the Wednesday Group, contact Jan on 01777 709974.