COVID-19 supportline 0333 005 8735  |

When is the right time to move into a care home?

Moving someone into a care home can be both a difficult and emotional experience. The prospect of being away from loved ones, along with the fear of losing independence, is often the cause for anxiety and upset. However, today there are a wide range of different options available, ranging from sheltered housing to offer independent living, or traditional care homes, with a strong focus on socialisation. 

Care homes can help to improve the quality of life for those who struggle with day-to-day tasks, as well as providing a safe environment focused on keeping residents happy and healthy. In this guide, we will give you all the information you need as to when someone should consider a care home, along with the variety of alternative options that are on offer.

How do you know if an older person needs a care home?

There are many signs that suggest someone may benefit from moving into a care home. The most important aspect to consider is the individual’s wellbeing, and if they are safe within their current home. Some typical signs that someone may require a care home include:

  • Struggling to complete daily tasks — such as washing, cooking, getting out of bed, going to the toilet and tidying the house.
  • Safety risks — such as frequent falls, forgetting to turn off appliances and leaving the house at night.
  • Mobility issues — such as being unable to move around the house or carry out simple tasks.
  • Complex medical needs — such as requiring specialist medical care, or needing help to administer more simple medication.
  • Isolation — loneliness can severely impact someone’s quality of life and can lead to mental health problems. 

It is so important that older people are able to receive the level of care that they require to help maintain their physical and mental health. It is often the case that relatives will want to provide help for elderly family members, however it can be hard to manage this and often becomes overwhelming. If someone you know poses a risk to their own safety by living at home, it may be the time to consider a care home to ensure that their care needs can be met. 

Despite emotions of guilt that can arise when considering moving someone into a care home, it is vitally important that you put their best interests first. Managing life at home can become increasingly difficult with age, which is why care homes are there to help alleviate stress. 

When should a person with dementia go into a care home?

If someone is struggling with dementia, living at home can cause difficulties and may lead to safety concerns. Dementia is a progressive condition, meaning that a person’s care needs will increase over time. For this reason, it is essential to prepare for the future, ensuring that they will always be able to receive the right level of care. Those in the early stages of the condition may simply require help with day-to-day activities, whereas those in the middle to late stages may require constant supervision or medical assistance.

You should consider a care home for someone with dementia if they:

  • are displaying dangerous behaviour — those with dementia can experience memory loss, shifts in personality, hallucinations, delusions, aggressive tendencies and loss of inhibitions.
  • are experiencing additional health problems — as dementia progresses to the later stages, many additional health issues can begin to occur. These can include frequent infections, falls and a weakened immune system.
  • unable to maintain personal hygiene and care — the condition can make it difficult for the person to keep themselves and their surroundings clean. This could be due to memory loss, mobility issues or simply struggling to carry out day-to-day tasks.

Take a look at The Fremantle Trust’s specialist dementia care homes.

The benefits of moving into a care home

Understandably the idea of moving someone into a care home can cause many overwhelming emotions. Although it can be difficult for them to move away from home, it is important to focus on the long-term benefits to someone’s health and wellbeing. 

Care homes are not only focused on the physical health requirements of the residents, instead they work to ensure that everyone feels happy, relaxed, safe and respected. By taking away the stress of completing household chores, residents are left with more time and energy to socialise with others of their age, and to get involved with the large range of activities offered. Bringing personal belongings from home, can also help with the transition and help residents feel more comfortable in the care home.

Care home staff will be able to work with you and your family to make the transition as smooth as possible. Some of the benefits of moving into a care home include:

  • Specialist 24-hour care and support 
  • A secure, safe environment
  • Eliminating the stress of cleaning and maintaining a house
  • Daily, nutritious meals 
  • Ability for family and friends to visit
  • Opportunity to socialise and make new friends
  • Mentally stimulating activities
  • A familiar, regular routine 
  • A private, personalised room

Alternatives to a care home

Every individual is different, and a care home is not always the best option for everyone. If someone you know is struggling to live at home, but a care home is not the right answer, it is worth considering alternative options that will still provide them with the level of care they require. 

Some alternative care options are often less expensive, which can help those who may struggle to afford the costs of a traditional care home. In addition, alternative options of care can help to act as a stepping stone for those who do not yet feel comfortable with moving full time into a care home. 

Live-in care in your own home

Live-in care has greatly increased in popularity over the recent years. Receiving care within the person’s own home, helps to bring familiarity and comfort. It allows for support that is tailored around the individual, allowing them to maintain daily routines and rituals, whilst still receiving high quality care. This option means that there are no changes to the environment and no time needed to adjust, helping to keep anxiety to a minimum. Furthermore, live-in care allows for couples or families to continue to live together, without needing to be separated. Alternatively, if someone is living alone, the daily visit by a carer can provide a form of companionship.

Sheltered housing

Sheltered housing may be the perfect option if someone wants to continue living independently, but requires more support and a smaller, more manageable home. Sheltered housing is usually in the form of a group of self-contained bungalows or flats, which can be bought or rented. This allows for people to still live in their own private home, with neighbours around to provide company. These residential areas are usually available for those aged 55 and over, and include a variety of facilities such as:

  • 24-hour emergency help
  • Security wardens on-site
  • Support services
  • Communal areas
  • Cafes and restaurants
  • Group and individual activities

Moving in with a family member

Moving an elderly family member into a family home can be a good option to reduce loneliness and to minimise costs. Caring for someone within your own home can help to ensure that there is always someone to keep a watchful eye, and to provide assistance when necessary. If you are concerned for the safety of a relative whilst you are not around, moving them into your home could help to alleviate this. However, it is important to be realistic about the quality of care you will be able to provide, especially if it needs to be balanced around work and childcare. It is important to speak with their GP first to ensure that you can plan for the type of care they will require.

If you or a loved one requires a care home, The Fremantle Trust can help ensure the highest quality of care for the individual in need. Contact us today to find out more about our various nursing homes and residential care homes in Buckinghamshire.

We have care homes located across the Buckinghamshire county. Learn more about care homes nearest to you:

Care home in Aylesbury
Care homes in Princes Risborough
Nursing home in Chalfont St Peter
Care homes in Amersham
Care homes in Slough
Care homes in Chesham
Care homes in Stoke
Care homes in Burnham
Care homes in High Wycombe
Care homes in Marlow