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What is a care home? | Future Care Group provide the lowdown

How we will be cared for in our later years is not something most people think about in detail until it becomes a necessary discussion. For this reason, there tends to be common misconceptions around what care homes are really like and what type of care is offered. We thought we would take this opportunity to explain what constitutes a care home and the type of care offered within one, as well as debunk the myths that can arise around the topic.

Care homes are generally categorised into two main types:

  • Residential homes
  • Nursing homes

Residential care homes offer a safe and supportive environment for older people to enjoy each other’s company via a programme of activities and opportunities arranged by an activities/lifestyle leads. People in residential care homes receive help with personal care, such as dressing, washing, and eating. Residential homes are a fantastic option for older people who are looking to reduce the stress associated with their daily health and care. They let them free-up time to focus on the other things in life that they have always enjoyed and are keen to continue whilst residing in a home.

Nursing homes provide registered nursing care for those who need higher levels of care, often on a round-the-clock basis. Sometimes, it may only be a short-term need (after a hospital stay for example), and sometimes it is a long-term living option. Nursing homes also offer social activities and in-home entertainment like residential care homes, which are often tailored to the needs and abilities of patients.

Dual-registered care homes, like ours, offer both residential and nursing care places to ensure they can adapt seamlessly to any changing care needs a resident may encounter whilst living with them. In this scenario, it is common for someone to first move into a care home as a resident who is simply struggling to live alone, even with help from friends, family, or paid carers. They may feel they would benefit from being able to socialise with peers and would like to receive a little extra support with personal care in their daily lives as well. After a time, their needs may change from needing a little extra support and comfort, to needing higher levels of care from a registered, on-site nursing professional during the day and night.

A care home that can offer both residential and nursing care places will be able to adapt to the needs, preferences, and demands of a resident as their stay evolves. This means that someone who initially just needs personal care but later needs nursing care will not have to go through the daunting and unsettling experience of changing homes.

Care homes with dementia care, like ours, are designed to support people with dementia so that they feel comfortable, safe, and able to enjoy a wealth of activities despite the mental (and often physical) challenges they must overcome.

When it comes to paying for a care home, you can either pay for your own care (self-fund) or you may be able to receive financial help from your council. Before deciding how to pay for a place in a care home, it is worth asking your local council for a needs assessment. The council can then help you assess all your options.

Common misconceptions of care homes

Many visitors we initially encounter within the Future Care Group consortium of care homes have a preconception about care homes. Care homes have received some bad press in the past for being too busy to provide quality levels of care and, unfortunately, a handful of negative press will always overpower a tonne of the good. Plus, there seems to be a notion that care homes are old-fashioned, lonely, and a ‘last resort’ option. But this simply is not the case within the Future Care Group. Here are the top four myths that we would like to dispel…

  1. Care homes are lonely places
    You only need to take a peek at our events calendar to see the variety and frequency of events and activities offered within our care homes. In fact, enriching the lives of our residents is at the heart of everything we do, and we are committed to creating a thriving community within each of our care homes. We aim to encourage our residents to continue with the activities that bring them those unbeatable moments of joy.
  2. They are clinical and dirty environments
    We work hard to ensure our residents feel at home while under our care. We have in-house chefs who are experienced at creating tasty, homemade meals that also deliver the nutritional needs of our residents. Our team of housekeeping staff go above and beyond every single day to ensure cleanliness and hygiene on site is always the best it can be. 
    In addition, we are currently trialling a new innovative Air Filtration/Purification/Monitoring system in a few of our homes to ensure Coronavirus and other viruses and bacteria are kept at bay.
  3. The staff are unkind to residents and are untrained
    Our experienced staff nurture the individual needs of each resident to ensure that their transition into residential care is seamless, and their ongoing residence with us is as fulfilling, meaningful, and adaptable as possible.Our staff go out of their way to personalise the care they deliver despite the physical and mental constraints a resident may face. It is a skill that has enabled many of our staff members to receive industry awards over the years and it is what makes so many of them stay with us for so long – we have given out so many long service awards to staff that we have lost track of the precise numbers! Unlike staff within a big corporate care home, our staff can be reactive and spontaneous to meet the needs and wants of residents. Getting to know the patients and what they like and need is what our staff thrive on.
  4. Loved ones are not allowed to visit
    We love meeting and socialising with the family and friends of our residents. It is a massive reward of our job to be able to see residents shine when a loved one walks through the door. It is not only fantastic for the mental wellbeing of residents, but for the staff too. A buzzing, thriving community within our homes is when we are all at our happiest.
    For residents who cannot see friends as family as much as they would like, we have Myo. Myo is a communication platform that provides us the opportunity to involve residents in the lives of their relatives and friends. Via Myo, we can take photos, videos, voice messages or texts from and with the residents and send them on to families/friends for them to comment and contribute too. With Myo, nobody needs to miss any beautiful moments.

A resident in a care home will not only benefit from the support and care which they require, but they will also enjoy companionship, dignity, and a full, enriched live while staying with us. Our homes at the Future Care Group, provide a full spectrum of care from respite to specialist dementia care, so your needs will be covered from the minute you walk through the door.

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