If you are considering a move to a residential care home, either for yourself or on behalf of someone else, this can sometimes seem daunting.
While moving to a care home does involve upheaval and a period of adjustment for everyone involved, there are many advantages of living in a residential care home.
A safe and secure environment
Often the decision to move to a care home is made when safety becomes an overwhelming worry. Care homes offer a safe and supervised environment that can give you peace of mind knowing that your loved one is constantly being looked after. Trained staff are always on hand in a care home, and in a nursing home, trained nurses can offer 24 hour care for medical conditions and monitor symptoms on an ongoing basis.
Comfort and relaxation
One of the biggest problems for many older adults, especially those living on their own, is not staying warm enough in their homes. Hypothermia is particularly dangerous for older adults, especially those living alone as there’s not someone around to notice the early signs. Care homes will be heated to a safe temperature to make sure residents are comfortable.
All shopping, cooking and cleaning is taken care of too, so residents don’t have to struggle with any domestic chores.
Regular meals and proper nutrition
Proper nutrition is especially important in later years to maintain health and energy, even more so if appetite naturally reduces.
Forgetting meals, losing weight or a decline in the ability or willingness to prepare meals can be signs that a care home might be a good option. Care homes serve regular and nutritious meals and make sure that residents get enough fluid so they stay hydrated. While some care homes offer food to be served in the resident’s room, many residents enjoy the social aspect of sharing a meal and chat with others in the communal dining room.
According to Age UK, 1.9 million older people in the UK often feel ignored or invisible, and loneliness can have a big impact on the mental and physical health of an older person.
Life in a care home offers opportunities to chat and reminisce with other residents, eat meals together and take part in communal activities and outings. Whenever your loved one wants company, it’s always there.
Activities and outings
Keeping the brain and body active are key to living well in older age. Care homes offer a range of activities to keep residents busy and stimulated, which may include:
- Local walks
- Arts & crafts
- Gentle exercise classes
- Music sessions
- Day trips to local attractions
- Board games
- Tea dances
Some care homes even recreate environments from the past that would be familiar to residents, such as an old pub or shop setting. This can be especially comforting for residents with dementia.
The care home may let residents bring smaller pieces of furniture with them and some care homes will even accept pets, if it is best for both the resident and the pet. Bringing favourite pictures and photos helps the room feel homely, as can bringing favourite bedcovers. Sometimes you can redecorate the room with a colour scheme of your choice.
Most care homes are only too happy to help residents personalise their space to make it feel familiar and comfortable.
Are you looking for a care home?
If you’re considering a care home or nursing home, we can help you.
Care Sourcer shows you details of all types of social care services, including care homes and nursing homes, in a searchable online directory of local care agencies.
If you need care urgently, our team of UK care experts are also available by telephone on freephone 0800 048 8618 to guide you through the process.