Moving into a Care Home, Making a Positive Choice

If you are a person with dementia in early stages you will want to Live as Independently at home for as long as possible and Plan for the Future including appointing Power of Attorney and making an Advance Statement for your long-term care choices.  Ideally it is best to discuss these issues with your family and you have the right to Independent Advocacy to support you to make your views known.  As dementia progresses your care needs might increase and moving to a care or nursing home may be the best option to meet these needs.

If you care for a person with dementia, there may come a point when you have to think about long-term care.  Perhaps it will be because of a crisis, or because although you intended to support the person with dementia to stay in their own home for as long as possible you are now finding it too difficult to cope.  Either way, it can be a difficult and painful decision. Useful information is available in this Alzheimer Scotland publication Letting Go Without Giving Up: Continuing to Care for the Person with Dementia.

Choosing residential care is not normally a decision you will have to make alone. The Social Work Department will help, by providing a community care assessment. They will look at the needs of the person with dementia and the person who cares for them.  They will help you and your carer to consider whether Longterm Care is the right choice or whether other arrangements e.g. Home Care for extra support could help you stay at home for longer.

In a care home, trained staff are available to provide 24 hour care. Care homes for older people may provide personal care and/or nursing care and are registered and inspected regularly by the Care Inspectorate.  The reports are available to view on their website.  A registered care home can provide personal care and will offer support, ensuring that basic personal needs such as meals, bathing, going to the toilet and medication are met. They will also offer a programme of social opportunities including outings and entertainment. Residents are supported to remain as active as possible. In East Dunbartonshire all care homes are run by private companies.

Paying for Longterm Care

There is information on Selecting a Care Home in East Dunbartonshire. If you hope to receive help from East Dunbartonshire Council with paying the Home’s fees, then a community care assessment plus an assessment of your finances, must be completed. The financial assessment determines how much you will have to pay towards the care home fees. Financial Assistance with Care Home Charges 2016/17. To obtain further information contact Customer Services on 0300 123 4510 and ask for Social Work.

Moving into a care home can be a time of upheaval but for many people it is where their needs can be best met as their condition progresses and family and carers can still be a part of your life and still have a role in your care.

It is important to talk through your feelings about your decision with other people.  The Alzheimer Scotland booklet, A Positive Choice: Choosing Long-stay Care for a Person with Dementia offers guidance on this difficult decision. Age Scotland have also produced a Care Home Checklist with useful advice and information.