Top 6 Tips for Finding and Moving into Care

Deciding a care home for yourself or your loved one is an important decision that shouldn't be overlooked. If you are looking for care, these are six tips to help you choose the right one.

Tip 1 - Get a needs assessment from the local authority.

If you need financial support to afford care, then you will need to be assessed for your eligibility for support. A needs assessment is a free of charge service carried out by the social care service department of your local authority. The aims of the assessment are to identify the needs of anyone who may need support and to suggest a support plan for that individual. You can apply for a need assessment online on your local council website or talk to your local doctor.

During a needs assessment, the social practitioner will ask you to demonstrate how you manage your daily tasks and your medical history will also be considered. The result of the test will be determined usually within a week, which will suggest a care plan and a financial support plan for the individual.

Tip 2 - Create a shortlist of care homes.

The needs assessment will reveal the essential cares that the individual needs. That will give you the sense of the required specialist support for them. You can narrow down the choices based on the test result as you can decide between the two main types of care home: a residential home and a nursing home.

The other criteria to consider is location, facilities, and staff. This information should be available in the form of a brochure or on the care homes website. However, for your convenience, there are websites, such as CareZee, that provide care searchers insight of each care home for easier comparison.

You can also refer to the Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspection rating to evaluate your narrowed choices. The 4 rating levels are Outstanding, Good, Requires Improvement, and Inadequate. This information can be found on the care home website, the CQC website or websites such as CareZee.

Tip 3 - Ask questions during a care home viewing.

With all the information in hand, you can still feel overwhelmed when deciding the final option. It is recommended that you visit your shortlisted homes before deciding where to move into. During the visit, you can ask as many questions as you need. Some topics you may want to know more about and discuss with the care home staff are:

  • Specialist support
  • Day to day living, activity and social life in the care home
  • Facility and staff
  • Guest and visiting policy
  • Waiting list
  • Fee and contract

Tip 4 - Know your finance options.

There are different finance options you can consider.

Self–funding: When you choose to pay for your care home fee if you can afford it.

Support from a local authority (full or partial): The level of support will depend on the result of the means test (financial assessment). The means test will be arranged for you following the needs assessment if the assessment identifies you need help.

Tip 5 - Update residential address

Once you have chosen a care home, don’t forget to let friends and family know about the move and the new address as it may feel up when welcoming visitors. Also make sure that you inform others that hold the old address such as banks, phone bills etc.

Tip 6 – Know how to make a complaint

If you are not happy with the quality of the care for you or for your loved one, you can complain to the care home operator or to the local council. If you are not happy with the home care and local council response, you can contact your Local Government Ombudsman for further investigated.

If you need someone to speak up for you, you can look for an Advocate. An Advocate can help you to understand your care and speak up for you. To look for Advocacy, you can consider the following organizations:

SeAp Advovacy :Contact number 0330 440 9000 or text SEAP 80800

VoiceAbility: Contact number 01223 555800.

If you are concerned about how a relative is coping at home and would like them to have more support, please get in touch with our care and nursing homes near you. We are happy to discuss your care needs and answer any questions you may have.

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