Tuesday, 17 July 2012
How to find a good care home
I've been a care home manager and I've also been an activities coordinator and I may get a lot of stick for saying this - but these are the two most important jobs in a care home. If one of them doesn't exist or both of the posts don't then I would be worried in selecting a care home however clean and spotless it looked with its beautiful decor. So go and visit the care home, after checking that the manager and activities coordinator posts exist. Visit at different times of day so you can see what happens - I suggest 8am, 1pm and 5pm. You will see shocking things no doubt, unfortunately the state of care homes in this country is not good, but look at things pragmatically if you can. Unless you or your relative can afford thousands of pounds a week you will see people in their nightwear at 5pm, you will overhear what could be interpreted as patronising even offensive language being used towards residents, you may even witness people literally crying out for attention - in that situation, if it goes unheard for more than a couple of minutes I suggest you report it if you feel up to it, because if you are searching for a good care home, chances are you're not in a good place psychologically. In the UK or England at least there is the Care Quality Commission, which has been criticised for not having enough bite, in other words it is letting too many poor care homes slip through the net. It doesn't employ enough people for the job as care is now unfortunately seen as such a lucrative money-spinner, so there are thousands and thousands of care homes. But look on their website (which is very difficult to use unfortunately) and find the care home you are looking for, it will have a simple star rating. My third piece of advice is to look after yourself at this difficult time. Gather support from whatever person, book, course or professional you can. Grab on to anyone who is informative, helpful and supportive and speak to them again. Get some therapy - now's a very good time for it! If people do want personalised advice leave a comment at the bottom and I will try to get back to you.