People with Dementia will often need to move to a Residential Care home when they find it hard to live alone, or need more help than a carer can provide. Residential Care provides 24 hour support so people can still enjoy life to the full in a comfortable and homely environment. Residential Care homes provide accommodation, meals and often adopt individual approaches to support and personal care as well as a wide range of social activities.
They also provide personal care for the residents who need it, including dressing, washing, going to the toilet and taking medicine. In addition to attending to personal health and welfare, they also help retain a sense of dignity. Residents become part of a community, and social interaction becomes part of their everyday life.
Selecting a Care Home
Selecting a care home is a very important decision as well as a very difficult one. Excellent quality care preserves dignity, treats people with respect as well as promotes independence which improves the lives of the residents. Residential Care homes, or nursing care homes can help people with Dementia. Whether they need this level of support depends on the stage and type of Dementia they have, and on any other illness and disabilities.
If it is thought that the person with Dementia would benefit from being in a Residential Care home, then it is a good idea to work with the staff to make sure that they know all about the person they are caring for. By letting the staff know what their likes and dislikes are, providing photos and life story books, and making sure that they have their most familiar personal belongings with them, you will help the person settle in and them feel safe as safe as possible in their new environment. Ask to be involved in all the decisions that are made.
Things To Look For
When selecting a Residential Care home it would be a good idea to visit a few so you can compare them before you make a decision. Spend some time at the home so you can get a feel of what it is like. Once you have found a care home that you think would be suitable, it might help if you visit the care home with the person you are caring for so you can see what their reaction is and how they like it. Most homes offer a trial period to see how the person settles in and you should ask about this during your visit.
Talk to the staff and the residents and don't be afraid to ask difficult or awkward questions. It might be a good idea to take a checklist of what is important to you. You can also have a look at the latest inspection report as this will give you details on how the home is run. You can find the inspection reports on the Care Quality Commission website by clicking here.
First Impressions - Things To Look Out For
- How are you greeted when you enter?
- Is the home welcoming and homely?
- Is it clean and well furnished / decorated?
- Do the residents and the staff look happy, and are the residents treated with respect and dignity?
- How do the staff speak to the residents?
- Are the residents properly dressed and involved in activities as well as being alert and interested?
- Are they encouraged to do things for themselves?
- Do the residents have single rooms and can they bring their own furniture and possessions?
- Can they have pets in their rooms?
- Do they have privacy if they go into their rooms e.g. staff knocking before they enter?
- Is the furniture arranged to encourage talking and social activities?
- Are there TVs and radios, and is there more than one room for the residents to go in?
- Is there a garden that is safe for the residents?
- Are there smoking and non smoking areas?
- Are there enough toilets and are they in easy reach of bedrooms and living areas?
- How are the staff in response to helping residents use the toilets and changing them if needed?
- Are the residents being stimulated without feeling stressed or forced to participate?
- Are there enough activities that are suitable for residents with Dementia?
- Is it up to the residents which activities they participate in?
- Are there any trips that are organised, and how are special events celebrated?