When visiting a home, you should be able to sense if there is a friendly atmosphere and a good rapport between staff and residents, high standards of cleanliness and housekeeping should be obvious. These are the very basics before considering the below, when deciding which Nursing home you should choose to be your next home.
1. Can the home cope with my needs now? What if my care needs increase or I need specialist care?
Residential homes only offer personal care and not nursing care. Selecting a home which is able to provide a wide range of nursing care will safeguard against having to move to another home in the future, should medical needs escalate.
2. Does the home cater for different lengths of stay?
Having the option for both long-term care, a short stay for respite care, or joining residents of the home for lunch, an afternoon activity, or both as a Day club visitor, would give you and your family a better idea if the home was the right one for you.
3. Will I be treated as an individual?
As far as possible, you should be able to choose how and where you wish to spend your day, what you’d like to do, who you’d like to see and what you’d like to eat. Visitors should be welcome and be able to join you for meals, and it is also important that your care is fully explained to you, taking into account your own views and opinions on how it should be delivered.
4. What about my freedom and the quality of life?
Your chosen home should very much be one that enables your life as much as possible. Caring for the whole person, and not just their medical needs, is of vital importance. There should be a varied activities programme to help maintain an active mind and social interaction, which should always be optional. You may also want to consider if any spiritual needs can be met? Does the nursing home feel isolated from the outside world or are there active links with families and the local community? Is there help and support available to help ease the transition should you need it?
5. What about the location and the environment?
The care home needs to be convenient for family and friends to visit, with plenty of parking and some public transport. Is the home individual and homely? Can you put your own stamp on it? The rooms should be bright and well maintained with a good outlook, and ideally you should be able to have some of your own furniture and personal items in your room. Consider the surroundings, are they pleasant and peaceful with the opportunity for you to walk or sit outside if you wished?
6. Can you afford it?
With the cost of care being so high, it can mount up quickly. Therefore, before moving into any home you need to understand their pricing structure. Is it transparent? Are there any hidden extra’s? Are you eligible for any financial funding or support?
7. What about the nursing home reputation?
For an official assessment you can refer to the CQC report which all assessed homes will have. In addition, a Gold Standard Framework (GSF) award demonstrates sustainable best practice within a care home. Carehome.co.uk also offer helpful opinions and testimonials from residents of many nursing homes in the area, allowing you to compare. You can also seek personal recommendations from anyone living at the home or speak to their relatives to gain a genuine insight into life there. A visit to Day club is often the best way to start, or a short stay for a respite period whether it be a few days, weeks or months.
The Carousel Theatre Company put on a puppet show for our residents at Birtley House
'Teamwork makes the dream work'
Throwback to 'Burns Night' at Birtley House
Another day for intergenerational learning to take place
A group coffee morning for all to enjoy
Well rested and returning home...
A family affair at our annual Carol concert