Our top 5 tips for searching for quality residential dementia care

There's no getting away from it, searching for that perfect dementia care home is a daunting process. Check out our top 5 tips here...

When families get it right and find specialist dementia care that meets both their needs and that of their loved one, the relief they feel is enormous.

Sadly however far too many people fail to plan ahead. Thoughts about residential care are put off until a crisis point has been reached. Decisions then have to be made in a hurry, leaving families with few choices and the nagging guilt that they are somehow abandoning their loved one to an impersonal care system.

Specialist residential dementia care has many advantages

High quality, dedicated residential provision which has been designed specifically with the needs of people with dementia in mind can provide a safer, and more stimulating, environment than that of the person’s own home.

But there’s just no getting away from it….finding the best quality residential care takes time and effort.

Plan ahead...that’s the key to finding the right dementia residential care for you, and remember our 5 points of key advice...

  • Do your research.

Check out as many care homes as possible to enable you to compare good with bad.  If a home claims to be dementia-specialist, how does this manifest itself in how they operate on a day to day basis? What measures have they in place to keep residents safe, and how has the space been adapted to make it dementia friendly? What activities/enrichment opportunities do they offer to engage residents, help them stay active, and stimulate conversation and reminiscence? What is staff turnover rate like, and do staff have opportunities for ongoing training?

  • Check out the CQC report.

The Care Quality Commission inspect all residential care homes on a regular basis and report on how well they provide care that is safe, caring, effective,responsive to residents’ needs, and well led. This will give you an unbiased view about the quality of care being offered.

  • Make several visits to the care home you favour to really get a feeling for the place.

It’s generally a good idea to make an appointment for your first visit so  the home can make someone available to spend time with you, showing you round and answering your questions. Then you may like to pop in unannounced on another occasion to speak to existing relatives and visitors to get their view of the place.

  • Find out all you can about how you will pay for care.

This is a bit of a minefield, but charities such as Alzheimer’s Society and Age UK have loads of useful information on their websites to help you.

  • Plan ahead - it’s never too early to start.

The best quality care homes tend to be very popular so a room may not be available immediately. Forward planning gives you time to consider your options, and if necessary go on a waiting list if availability is limited.