Every care home is different, as is every resident, so finding the right care home for an older person you love can feel a little like finding a needle in a haystack. However, when you do find the right care home, rather like finding a partner – you ‘just know’ that it’s the right one.
A home’s beautiful surroundings can be an important factor in your decision. However, it’s usually the welcoming atmosphere that’s key: the friendliness of the team, the buzz around the home, or the sound of residents laughing together in the coffee shop, or as they enjoy an activity. This was one relative's first impressions of Ferndown Manor.
The right home will make your loved one’s move feel like an exciting new start. The team will learn all about them, introduce them to other residents and helping them to settle in and feel they’re a part of the home.
“When you see your loved one enjoying a great quality of life, you’ll be reassured that you’ve made the right decision for both of you. Remember that the move is to help you to regain quality time with your loved one, and for you to regain your energy.”
Julie Bignell, home manager, Oak House
Moving into a care home is a big change for residents and their families. At Care UK, we aim to make the move as seamless as possible.
Our useful guide ‘Helping Hand’ guide offers a wealth of tips for helping a loved one prepare for the move and settle into their new home. It also covers some of the worries that residents and relatives often have at the start, such as what happens if a loved one won’t eat or asks to go home.
Care UK colleagues explain how they help new residents to settle in to their care home.
As soon as a resident and their relative or friend arrives, we serve them a complimentary meal and then the team visit to introduce themselves.
All new residents receive a welcome card and a personalised gift - something that suits their hobbies and interests.
We then take great care and time to create their life story book together with their relatives and friends so that we can capture their life history as well as hobbies, likes and dislikes.
On a practical level, all clothing is labelled and we try and we help to ensure their room is as personalised as possible.
Shirley Gibbs - home manager at Mercia Grange, Sutton Coldfield
“We like to spend time one-to-one with a new resident doing their favourite hobby or interest with them. It’s a way of starting to form a bond with them and of getting to know them, and it reassures them that we feel they’re important. We might involve another resident so they start to get to know others and they have someone to talk to who has been in their position.”
Jon Sneath, regional lifestyle lead
Many residents of Care UK homes quickly take advantage of the activities on offer, whether it is discovering new interests or rekindling past hobbies, as well as outings and entertainment. They make new friends and learn new skills which enable them to live happy and fulfilling lives.
Our teams enable residents to live each day to the full, even giving them the chance to have an important ‘job’ around the home.
Finding your home from home
We’ve been catching up with residents and relatives to hear how choosing a Care UK home has been a positive experience for everyone.
Forming new friendships
At Chandler Court in Bromsgrove, Margaret explains why she chose the home. “I knew as soon as I walked in, that I could be happy here. I’ve made a whole new circle of friends, including many children from the local nursery. Living here is a new adventure and I’m still independent. I can do all the things I did before, like going to church, or popping out to the shops, but it’s also broadened my horizons.”
Hear how Margaret enjoys Chandler Court.
I’m worried that I’ll interrupt his social life!
Cyril is a resident at The Potteries in Broadstone. His daughter Barbara explains. “His mind is still very active, there’s plenty for him to do here and new friends to make. His social life is better than mine now”.
Michelle’s grandfather Ted also lives at The Potteries. She says “Grandad enjoys the outings, all the activities and being part of the home community. In fact, when I visit, I’m worried that I’ll interrupt his social life!”
A great atmosphere
When Emma and Nicola walked through the door of Care UK’s Scarlet House care home in Stroud they knew it was the right place for Nicola. The two had looked around many homes to find one where Nicola would be happy.
Emma says, “Scarlet House was modern, spacious and had a great atmosphere. It felt like a home from home, which was important. Nicola has settled in really well. When she moved in, the team made sure her small pieces of furniture were in place – and her pictures were up on the wall.”
Quality time with loved ones
When a loved one has settled into a care home, relatives usually feel many different emotions such as peace of mind and relief. They also find that they can spend quality time with their loved one once more. One relative at The Potteries tells speaks about her sense of relief in a video.
“I now spend meaningful time with my wife – before I was too busy caring for her to do that. I do get involved in her care in the home but I’ve got my own life back too. I now volunteer for the Alzheimer’s Society. I’m using my experience to give something back.”
Glenn, husband of a resident of Silversprings