Leaving your home and familiar surroundings to move into a care home is a big step. It is important to consider your choices carefully before making a decision about where to move. Before you begin looking for a care home, your first step should be to contact the social care services department of your council, or the hospital social worker if you are in hospital.
The care manager or social worker will talk with you and your carer and assess your individual needs. The type of care offered in care homes can vary. Some care homes simply offer companionship and cooked meals for older people who are active, although this type of care is now limited. Other care homes provide personal care for more dependent people. This might include help with washing, dressing, bathing, toileting needs, taking medicine and ensuring that an adequate diet is provided.
There are a number of ways to find out about care homes. If you have been assessed by a social worker they should provide you with information about care homes, but this might not cover all the homes in your area.
You may wish to consider the following when thinking about care homes:
- How often does the care home increase its fees?
- Will you be able to afford regular fee increases? Will you have to move out if you cannot pay?
- Do you have to pay a deposit or any fees in advance?
- What percentage of the fees would you still have to pay if you had to move out for a short time (for example, for a holiday or to go into hospital)?
- What services does the fee include?
- Is there an extra charge for: Laundry, Hairdressing, Chiropody, Extra care, Leisure activities Incontinence pads, Newspapers, Toiletries and Physiotherapy?
You may wish to consider about the type of care home you want to live in:
- Would the care home handle your personal matters in a private and confidential way? Or inform you of the independent advocacy support that is available in your local area?
- Does the care home approach bathing, incontinence and giving medicine in a sensitive way?
- Can you entertain visitors at any time?
- Can you see visitors in private?
- How much freedom do you have to use the facilities and resources of the home?
- Can you go out when you want?
For a list of all frail care and care home facilities in South Africa please click here: