The time might come for you to consider long-term residential care for your relative with little or no warning. It may the result of a bad fall, broken hip, stroke or long-term degenerative condition that takes a turn for the worse, but how to find the right care home when you have to act quickly? Don’t worry – there are resources to help you choosing a care home in Sussex and this introduction should help.
Different types of care home include nursing homes, specialist dementia care homes and residential care homes. To find out more, you can download Anchor’s free guide which details the different types of care homes.
Choosing a care home or nursing home for a relative is fraught with emotional difficulties, but here are a few guidelines you can use to help you.
Do you and your parent live in the same area? If not, you’ll have to consider whether it’s best to move them into a care home that is closer to you or whether they’d prefer to remain in the area they are familiar with.
Your relative may feel comfortable in their home town and have friends nearby. Moving them closer to where you live may make it easier to check up on them, but will it be less distressing or more so?
You can use an online directory, like the Care Homes.co.uk website, to browse the lists of suitable homes in your chosen area. When you’ve selected three or four that are potentially a good, pay them a visit and ask lots of questions.
Here are some tips for when you’re looking around potential care homes:
- Look at several different bedrooms and the communal areas.
- Ask if all the bedrooms have windows and what they overlook.
- Ask if residents can bring their own furniture.
- Talk to a few residents about how they find living there
- Talk to members of staff. Are they friendly and helpful?
- Check if it feels homely; is it clean? Well-kept? Nicely decorated?
- Check if there is a garden that residents can use and look around it if possible
- Check if there is a car park for visitors.
Your relative’s care home will need facilities that suit their individual needs so it’s important to investigate them before making a choice. If your relative needs, for example, post-stroke care or support after a serious fall, you will need to ask the care home specific questions about facilities for these conditions.
Some good questions to ask include:
- Is there a massage or physiotherapy room?
- How highly trained are the staff?
- Are there regular GP visits?
- Does the home have a visiting chiropodist or optician?
- Does the home provide services such as hairdressing, manicures or pedicures?
- Is there a canteen for residents or where are meals served?
- What help is available if someone needs assistance feeding themselves?
- Is food made on-site, what is the sourcing policy, and do they offer menus and choices?
- Do the bedrooms have televisions and radios or is there a communal television room?
- Are activities provided for residents, and what are they?
- Are there outings for residents, and are there additional charges for them?
Only you know what your budget is, and the prices of care homes can vary widely. According to the Laing & Buisson Care of Older People, the regional average for the cost of a care home in the South East is £702 a week, rising to £1041 a week for a care home with additional nursing.
However, care homes charge different prices depending on various factors, including the location, level of care they provide and your individual financial circumstances.
In England, prices in the South are typically higher than those in the North, as well as in Wales or Scotland. But prices across Sussex will vary as well, depending on how in demand the location is and what facilities they provide.
If you’re eligible for local authority funding or social care support this will also lower your costs. Find out if you can access this funding by completing a care needs and financial assessment with your local council. However, if you already own over £23,250 in capital you won’t be eligible for this and will need to fund relative’s care independently.