Care Homes : A guide to Elderly Care

Most of us don’t think about the possibility of going into a care home but there may come a time in your life when this becomes a reality.

No-one wants to leave their home if they can help it: after all, this is a place which you are familiar with, which contains your personal possessions and memories. We don’t want to think about having to leave all of this for somewhere which is unknown and in many ways, quite frightening. And even if you decide upon a care home there are issues of finding the right home for you, what they offer and what it will cost.

Cost is one of the major issues when deciding on a care home. Most people are shocked by how much it can cost and as you can imagine, fees very between these homes. This leads to the issue of how to pay for this care. Other issues include the type of care provided, whether it will meet your needs and if it is up to standard. Taking these into account it is understandable that people feel stressed or anxious at the thought of moving into a care home.

This is where this guide can help. We aim to provide you with as much information as we can which is designed to reassure you, and help you make what is, a major decision.

What do you need to consider?

This is not a decision to be undertaken lightly and requires a good deal of research beforehand. This means reading through various literature and visiting care homes.

If you are already planning ahead for your later needs then include this in your plan. Approach it in a realistic and unemotional manner.

In other words, consider it carefully and rationally. Think about if this is likely to be an issue later on in life. No-one can know for sure if they will require long term care: but if you suffer from a progressive illness or disease or have limited mobility then it is likely to be a consideration in your later years. As with most things it’s a good idea to think about this sooner rather than later.

The first question is whether you need to go into a care home.

If so then your next step is to decide upon the type of care home.

Once you have done this then you will have to dedicate time to choosing a care home for you. This means either a care home run by your local authority - which you may get help towards paying for, or choosing a home in the independent sector - which you pay for.

Social services (as part of your local authority) can carry out a ‘needs assessment’which will determine what level of care you need and the type of home available to do so. They should have a list of registered homes within your area for you to choose from.

The next issue is that of paying for your care. This is covered in greater detail in our paying for elderly care section. Once you have all the information you need about suitable care homes, and how your care is going to funded then you need to find the right care home for you. Most people are happy with their care home but if you or your relatives are not then there is a complaints procedure in place to deal with this.

Find out more in our unhappy with your care home section.

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