I don't know where to start...
I often hear this phrase when people contact us on the Helpline asking about choosing a care home. Typically, there’s been a sudden change in circumstance which means that their partner or parent can no longer cope at home. How to make the right choice can seem overwhelming.
One lady whose husband had been seriously ill after a stroke explained that they were delighted that he was making a good recovery, but now the hospital had given the family just three days to find a suitable nursing home for him. She said, "usually, I like to go into things more thoroughly, but we have so little time.” As another caller whose father had fallen over at home, said, ‘’so many things were happening at once, it was difficult to take in the information and weigh up the options.”
Sometimes, even when people have more time, the decision is still a very difficult one. People may have lots of information from various sources, but it may not be up to date. Or they might find it hard to get any information at all and what they can find may not seem relevant to them. Callers are often struggling to make sense of unfamiliar language and complicated systems of funding, so may overlook some important questions. One lady said, “I was so concerned about finding a home that could deal with Dad’s dementia, that I forgot to ask about pets or whether he could go out into the garden.” These - apparently smaller - things can make a big difference to a person’s day.
Perhaps the most difficult situation is when the chosen care home turns out not to be suitable for the older person. One caller was looking into alternative homes as she felt that her father was not in the right place and said, “I wish I’d contacted you earlier.”
On the other hand, we know that having information which is straightforward to understand, being aware of your choices and rights and knowing some of the questions to ask, can make a difficult decision much easier. That’s why we’ve launched a new campaign to make sure everyone who is choosing a care home – either for themselves or a loved one – has the information they need to make a good choice.
Choosing the right care home is so important because it is a person’s home. It’s not a decision anyone should have to take under pressure or ‘in the dark’. That’s why I really do believe that ‘information is power’ and that our campaign can really help people to make more positive informed choices.
Campaign with us
For our campaign to have real impact, we need your support. Sign up to campaign with us and we will keep you up to date with the different ways you can get involved as the campaign progresses.