The myths of moving into a care home
Advice from Colten Care for those considering a care home
The 20 Colten Care homes came together to discuss the most common misconceptions and reservations people have about living in a care home – and why, in a kind and friendly home dedicated to the individuality and wellbeing of residents, they are not true.
These are the top ten:
Myth #1. Everyone is put in a care home eventually
No-one should ever feel they are being ‘put’ in a home. It should be a question of choice for them and their family based on a sensitive, detailed pre-admission assessment. Moving into a care home should be seen as a positive transition to a new chapter of life. The resident should actually enjoy more choice and autonomy than they would have if struggling at home alone or depending on an ever-changing team of domiciliary carers visiting them.
Myth #2. I will have to get rid of all my furniture, pictures and books
A new resident should be encouraged to make their room their own and personalise it with cherished items from home as much as possible. They are free to put pictures on the wall and to bring their own furniture and books should they wish.
Myth #3. I will not be able to have visitors whenever I choose
You can have visitors whenever you wish. All good care homes encourage open visiting by friends and family. The front door may be locked in the evening, for security reasons, but visitors are welcome to ring the doorbell – just as they would in your own home. Depending on the time of day, visitors can join residents to enjoy a pre-lunch sherry, afternoon tea, or other snacks and meals. Birthday and anniversary parties are also popular occasions for residents and visitors to get together.
Myth #4. I will lose my independence
A care home that truly cherishes you will strive to maintain and enhance your independence at all times. It is all about sensitive, thoughtful interaction. Each resident has a detailed care plan that tells staff what the individual can do for themselves and what they need assistance with. Above that, the values of honesty, kindness, reassurance, individuality and choice should be evident 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Myth #5. Care homes often have a bad smell
A professional care home, with dedicated cleaning, laundry and care staff, will take a zero tolerance approach to bad smells. The key is prevention and treatment. Staff will assess a resident’s needs and make appropriate arrangements to manage their continence effectively. For example, call bells will be answered swiftly and residents helped to the toilet straight away. At the same time, if any spillages or leaks do occur due to incontinence, they will be immediately treated with specialist cleaning equipment. Affected materials will also be swiftly replaced.
Myth #6. Everyone will have dementia
Different care homes cater for different needs. Basic help with personal care, such as washing and dressing, is available in a residential home. A nursing home will, as the title suggests, provide tailored nursing care for each resident. There are also homes offering extra care and support, such as those focused entirely on residents who live with dementia. While some people in any care home may have some degree of memory loss or dementia, that does not apply to everyone in all homes.
Myth #7. Everyone will be sat in the lounge asleep with the TV on
A well-run care home will offer a stimulating and imaginative, optional programme of activities and ensure its main lounge is a social, active and interesting place. If a resident or a group of residents want to watch TV or DVDs, they can do so in their comfort of their own rooms or in a dedicated TV or cinema room.
Myth #8. I will have to go to bed and get up when I am told to
We all have our own rhythms and routines and, while there has to be some structure to the day and night, residents should be free to choose when they want to get up and when they go to bed. Whether people are night owls or early birds, the individuality and preferences of the residents should be assured.
Myth #9. I will have no choice of food
Food is essential to our wellbeing and quality of life. Residents should be involved in decisions about their diet and be given the time to choose their individual options in advance from a meals menu. Snacks should be readily available throughout the day and night. There should also be off-menu flexibility for special dietary needs or just simply preference. Food should be freshly prepared, using quality ingredients by a qualified chef-led team.
Myth #10. I will not be able to go out to the shops, for a walk or for a pub lunch when I wish
While safety is paramount, a well-run and attentive care home will always encourage independence and, with the appropriate risk assessments in place, anything is possible. We have residents who walk out to the shops, or take a mobility scooter. Occasionally, someone may even have their own car. Residents often go out for lunch and dinner with their friends and relatives. For optional group outings, homes will provide minibus transport.
FIND OUT MORE ABOUT COLTEN CARE'S LOCAL HOMES
Colten Care operates six residential nursing and care homes in the local area, including three in Lymington: Belmore Lodge, Court Lodge and dementia specialist Linden House. There are also homes in Brockenhurst (Woodpecker's), New Milton (Kingfisher's) and Mudeford (Avon Reach). All 19 of Colten Care's established residential and nursing homes have been officially rated ‘Good’ by the care industry regulator the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and at the end of 2016, customer feedback on the review site Carehome.co.uk led to Colten Care being rated as the best in the UK among operators with more than five care homes.
Click on the links to find out more about each home...