When a loved one has dementia, it can be a challenging time. As their condition progresses, they’ll need additional support and care. You may be feeling like it’s become difficult for them to stay at home. This is the time to consider a dementia care home.

Moving your loved one with dementia into a residential home or a full-time care home can be tough, both emotionally and practically, for all involved.

Something that can have such a profound effect on a person’s life is best discussed and planned for ahead of time. However, finding the right dementia care home can seem daunting.

The Right Dementia Care Home For Your Loved One

A care home must be a place where your loved one feels happy and comfortable. It’s important that it feels like home. There are several things you need to do to ensure you make the right choice.

Different Types Of Care Home

Choosing The Right Care Home 1 300x121Varying levels of care are provided, depending on the type of care home you choose. Which one is right for your loved one depends on their care and health needs.

  • Residential: They will look after your loved one’s general living requirements, including accommodation, meals, and personal care.
  • Nursing home: Nursing care and personal care will be provided.
  • Registered dementia care home: These can be either a nursing home or residential care, but they’ll specialise in dementia care and support.
  • Over 65 care home: This type of home will only provide dementia support for people over 65.

Specialist Dementia Care

Not all care homes are registered to provide specialist dementia care. You can approach your local Social Services or Elderly Accommodation Counsel for help, and they’ll be able to provide a list of suitable dementia care homes in your area. Help is also available regarding making the right choice for a person’s care and housing needs. Age UK and the Alzheimer’s Society have a good range of resources.

Speaking to a social care or health professional may also be helpful. Similarly, speaking to friends or relatives who have experience could be valuable.

Armed with a list of possible homes in the area, you can move onto the next steps in the process.

Check The Care Home’s Inspection Report

In the UK, care providers are inspected by one of four watchdogs. The written reports are easily accessible and can provide a precious insight. The watchdogs check on how well the providers manage the home and what level of care is provided. In England and Scotland, the regulators also give the care home a rating.

Contact Possible Care Homes

It’s always a good idea to contact the dementia care homes on your list and talk about specifics. Ask questions about:

  • How they’ll meet the needs of your loved one
  • What are their fees
  • Are places available?

While you’re talking on the phone, ask for written details about costs and request a brochure as this will be something you can refer to when comparing.

Make an appointment to go and visit and check that you’ll be able to meet the care home manager.

Visiting Potential Care Homes

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You must find the time to visit all of the specialist dementia care homes you’ve included in your shortlist. That way, you’ll be able to get all the information you need to make an informed decision for your loved one’s care.

Some of the essential things you need to check for include:

  • First impressions: The buildings and grounds should be well-maintained, pleasant, and inviting. A garden or courtyard should be accessible. The staff should be welcoming and the home clean, fresh, comfortable, and well-decorated.
  • Accessibility: It’s important that friends and family will be able to visit the home easily. Shops, places of worship, and parks within easy reach are also crucial. Check the home has good wheelchair access and wide doorways.
  • Staff: Are the staff interested and welcoming? What staff are on duty and can your loved one choose to have a female or male carer? Are the staff trained and what qualifications do they have?
  • Care needs: Will there be a named member of staff responsible for your loved one’s care? What facilities are available in the home and individual rooms? Are health check ups part of the regular care? How will the home keep you informed?
  • Day to day elements: These include security arrangements, choosing their routine, personal belongings, secure storage and procedures for handling personal money.
  • Food: Do residents eat alone in their room or is there a communal dining area? What’s on the menu and how often does it change? Where is the food prepared? Can residents make their own drinks and can they store food in their room?
  • Activities and social life: What activities are provided for the residents, for example, music, gardening, visits from entertainers, regular outings? Does exercise play a part in the care? Can your loved one bring their own pet, if they’ve got one?
  • Visitors: Are there visiting times or restrictions on the number of visitors? Could a visitor stay overnight? Are young children allowed to visit? Is there somewhere visitors can spend time with their loved ones?
  • Fees: Make sure you understand the structure of the fees, how they’re calculated, and collected. Will a deposit or payment in advance be required?

At Willow Grange, we are proud to be able to provide temporary or long-term care for your loved one with dementia. Our short or long term respite care will ensure your loved one has everything they need. You can have peace of mind knowing that when your loved one stays with us they’ll be treated just like a member of our family.

To arrange a viewing of Willow Grange or to discuss the needs of your family member in more detail, please get in touch with a friendly member of our team today.