‘We support people to manage the loss and upheaval associated with going into a home and helping them to move forward.’
Most of us would wish to be cared for in our own home, but increasing physical, mental and social frailty in older age does not always make this the best option. Moving into a care home is a major transition in life which may involve considerable losses but, with appropriate planning and support, it can bring benefits and improved quality of life for older people and their families. Many older people regain confidence and begin to ‘thrive’ when they start their new supported life in a care home.
“I have lived in this care home for two years…I have now rebuilt my life, thanks to the proprietor and staff. I now want to put the past behind me and live in the present and live as active a life as possible.”
For relatives, it is important that they can contribute to decisions being made about their loved one’s care and are supported to deal with the emotional impact of the move on them and their loved one.
The transition for those moving into a home and their relatives can be eased if pressure on them is minimised:
- if they have access to all relevant information to help them play a full and active role in the life of the home and, for relatives, in the care of the older person;
- if they are able to work with staff;
- if they are able to maintain ownership of decisions about the future;
- if they feel that others are aware of the consequences of the move for them and their loved ones; and
- if information is available on how to choose a home and how to ease the transition of moving.
Care homes as a style of both housing and care, can be a positive option. Entering a home can offer new opportunities. Initiatives that promote a proactive approach to decision-making, such as facilitating trial visits, should be encouraged.