The facility you choose will, of course, depend on the health and degree of dependence of your elderly relative. However, other fundamental criteria will also be taken into account such as proximity to the family, the available budget, the activities and services on offer, the quality of service delivered by the care team and the preferences of the person concerned. Are you looking for a friendly, safe environment? Is your loved one dependent or do they suffer from a specific medical condition? What are the care/nursing home admission criteria in England?
The admission criteria for care homes or nursing homes vary from one establishment to the next. The major factors are the individual’s state of health and level of dependence, both of which are usually assessed by the GP based on the NHS Needs Assessment. Unless exemptions apply, the minimum age for moving to one of these facilities is 60. Currently, however, the average age of care home residents is 80.
What questions are asked when a person moves to a care home?
Moving into a care home can be a difficult step. Support will be required throughout the process. A number of questions and uncertainties may arise. So how should these issues be addressed?
It is important to note that the apprehension felt by the elderly individual before moving into their new accommodation is both natural and justified. A decision of this magnitude often raises a number of personal questions. What will happen to my furniture? Will my house be sold? What will the other residents be like? Who will look after me and visit me? Numerous other questions will inevitably arise, all of which require detailed, unhurried answers, taking time to highlight priorities, visit several facilities, obtain as much information as possible and soak up the atmosphere. The way in which the new resident is greeted on arrival will inevitably impact their new way of life in the chosen facility.
Which care home is best suited to which health condition?
Competent, well-trained medical teams are on hand in nursing homes primarily to care for highly dependent, disoriented patients. Specific care packages are available to cater for individual disabilities and medical conditions. Each home is unique in terms of character, personal qualities and working practices – hence some will be more suitable than others depending on the individual’s condition, degree of dependence or disease progression. England offers mixed facilities. This means that several care homes will be able to accommodate able-bodied individuals alongside those who are gradually becoming more dependent, those with a high level of dependency or individuals presenting Alzheimer's disease and related disorders. This type of structure can easily adapt to meet the current health requirements of its residents. Your loved one will be able to stay in the same accommodation, safe in the knowledge that appropriate nursing care and support will be given as and when the need arises.
When choosing a facility, it is also important to check that paramedical care is available from physiotherapists, occupational therapists and psychomotor therapists along with a variety of activities and events to promote wellbeing.
Moving to a care home – a critical stage
Moving to a care home involves preparing the individual for admission, ensuring that they receive a warm welcome, personalizing their surroundings, helping them to move in, and evaluating the entire process once completed. All of these vital steps should complement each other in accordance with the resident’s wishes to ensure that your loved one makes the most of their new way of life.
Current admission practices in residential homes and nursing homes
The following is a non-exhaustive list of common practices implemented throughout the admissions process as set out above.
Arrange for the individual and their family to visit the facility to familiarise themselves with the process and to ease transition.
As part of the family support package, Senior Home Plus advisors must send out an admission application form comprising a medical section to be completed by the GP and an administrative section for completion by the interested party. A financial assistance application form will be issued at the same time. This should be completed in order to apply for financial aid to cover part of the accommodation costs. Other supporting documentation may be requested by the home at the time of admission.
Involve the future resident in organizing the layout of their new accommodation. This is the ideal opportunity for them to personalize their future living space and decide where to put their personal effects. They can dictate the layout and arrange small items of furniture as they wish. This is a fundamental step in preparing the person psychologically for the move. It will also dispel any anxiety that may arise.
Hold conversations with the individual concerned and their family in order to discuss the matter openly and to encourage relatives to speak frankly with their loved ones. The care home will not grant admission until all of the terms and conditions have been explained and the person in question has given their informed consent.
On the day of admission, arrival times may vary from one establishment to another depending on certain criteria. Ideally, all members of staff will be on hand to give the new resident a warm welcome.
Many nursing homes adopt certain practices but can always change depending on requirements. Some facilities offer a "buddy" scheme whereby one of the other residents is assigned to help the newcomer settle into their new environment. It is also common practice to introduce the new resident to residents in adjacent rooms and to give them the choice – at least initially - to either take their meals alone in their room, or in the communal dining area.
New residents are usually welcomed by a specialist team and are given a typical program of daily events.
Once the individual has moved in, some facilities arrange for the new resident and their family to meet regularly with a psychologist who can provide support and follow-up.
Many care homes are entirely flexible when it comes to getting up, going to bed, or meal times. Activities are also adjusted to suit individual tastes.
Throughout the entire process and following the actual move to a care home, the individual’s state of mind and the support they receive from their family will be fundamental in helping them settle in. Senior Home Plus advisors are always available to answer questions and can contact the relevant establishment on the family’s behalf. They will also keep a close eye on the new resident after they have moved to their new accommodation.
We are here to help you choose a care home or facility best suited to your needs.
Do not hesitate to contact us on the following number: 0203 608 0055.
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