A number of clients have contacted me over the past week because their relatives in hospital have been issued with a compulsory discharge notice and they are forced to find a care home quickly. The NHS are issuing these to clear their wards for the anticipated wave of Covid 19 patients.
This is hard enough in normal times, but almost all homes are currently closed to visitors due to the Coronavirus outbreak. Although they will accept new residents, you are not allowed to go and see for yourself what the place is like. You are sending a loved-one to a new home blind. (The NHS will be in a very difficult place if care homes refuse to take new residents, which may happen if this outbreak gets worse).
There are some things that you can do though. Most homes have websites but "learn to ignore what the photographer saw" has never been truer. These are marketing!
The CQC website contains inspection reports on all care homes and these are a good place to start. If a home you like has a poor report that is a few years old, don't discount them. Most care providers take the CQC very seriously and you should interrogate the home about the issues raised and what they have done to address them.
We work with care finding companies that will find care homes, with vacancies, that match requirements set by you. Although their service is chargeable, their help, advice and market knowledge will often save you money over the longer term.
Also, don’t forget to have a chat with us too. Although money and paying for care may not be the first thing on your mind at this time, we can help you ensure that the care chosen is financially sustainable.
Finally, please remember that this doesn’t have to be permanent. Whilst in an ideal world you will chose the forever home for your relative, if you get it wrong, it is possible to move. When placing someone in these far from ideal circumstance we need to be prepared to accept that the place we chose may be a mistake.