Elsie Baron, 82, from Romsey, Hampshire was the person in her family to decide that a nursing home was the best way forward for both her and her family.
She lived with her daughter-in-law, Olivia, in a ‘granny annexe’ attached to her house in the country but realised that she was becoming a burden.
One of her best friends had recently moved to a nursing home in the north of England and seemed very happy, so she thought it might be a good option.
Elsie had this to say:
“I realised I was becoming a burden on everybody and, though my daughter-in-law said nothing, I knew things just weren’t right. I couldn’t do my own shopping, cooking or cleaning anymore and my eyesight was becoming weak. It was apparent things weren’t going to get better, so while I still ‘had my marbles’ I thought it best if we look for a care home.
“Olivia said nothing, bless her, but I could see the relief in her eyes that I had made the decision before she had to say something.”
Olivia told Health Times:
“I was really surprised when ‘Mum’ mentioned it, but I was really relieved to be honest, so I started searching for a care home local to us so that we could visit as often as possible.
“The best way to find somewhere is to ask family and friends for recommendations. I’m a teacher at a local school, so I was fortunate to have a lot of contacts.
“In the end, we had a shortlist of four care homes, so me and Mum arranged a day out to visit them all. We thought we’d make a day of it, so I arranged two visits in the morning, then lunch at her favourite pub followed by two more visits in the afternoon.
“To be honest, we were both shocked at how pleasant they all were – far better than we had expected.
“There was little to choose between them in terms of quality, though one of them clearly had guests who were suffering from the advanced stages of dementia and Mum wasn’t too keen on that, I assure you!
“But in the end, we chose one that was closest to home.
“It had a bright and airy private room with a TV and even Wi-Fi. There was a delightful dayroom so that Mum wouldn’t be shut in alone all day, and there were plenty of activities including day trips and outings.
“Also, a nurse was always on duty 24 hours a day should any problems arise.
“They let us look around, and everything looked clean, tidy and, most importantly, homely. While I was in the office working out a care plan, Mum sat chatting happily with the residents who all said how happy they were with the place.
“For me, the most important thing was that the staff were all so friendly and eager to help and answer any questions we had.
“On top of that, while we were there dinner was being served, and it looked and smelled delicious.
“So, if you have any doubts about sending a relative to care home, I suggest you take a look around for yourself and see what amazing facilities are available."
Jolene Anderson at Lyncroft Care Home in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, explains: “Choosing the right care home for your loved one can be difficult and challenging, as well as all the emotional issues to deal with, wading through the jargon and understanding new terminology can be frustrating. When searching for a home you’ll come across lots of different types of care homes with different facilities and levels of care.
“There are two types of care home: Residential homes and Nursing homes. Both provide 24-hour support, however, nursing homes have registered nurses on site 24 hours a day meaning nursing homes are typically utilised by residents that require regular medical attention or experience severe physical disabilities.”
For a list of care homes in your area, visit carehomeadvisor.com or visit your GP who will also be pleased to help.