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Is Residential Care Right for My Family Member?

August 5th, 2021

Beginning to think about residential care for your loved one can be a difficult and upsetting process. Whether it be for your spouse, parent, grandparent, or another close family member, it is important to understand the warning signs. Knowing when it is time to start finding a care home can be challenging and waiting for the “perfect time” often means you leave it to a point where you and your loved one are really struggling. 

If you’re beginning to wonder whether residential care is the best option for your loved one, it is completely normal to have a number of questions about the best steps forward. Here, we take a look at some of the warning signs that suggest your family member may need to move into a care home and offer some general advice about the process. 

When Is the Right Time to Think About a Care Home for a Family Member?

This is a highly personal question and depends entirely on the individual circumstances of yourself and your loved one. There is no “right time” as such to start thinking about a care home for your family member. As a rule of thumb, if you’re beginning to struggle with their care, you’re worried about their welfare when you’re away or they are a danger to themselves, it is probably time to think about changing their living arrangement. 

You may also find that if you’re working full time, you are unable to find the time to properly care for your family member. Or you may find their care too physically demanding, this is especially true for older people who have to care for their spouses. 

Signs That Your Family Member Might Need Residential Care 

Recognising the signs that your loved one might need more support in order to look after themselves is important. Here is a list of signs that you may want to look out for if you’re beginning to think your loved one might need residential care:

  • You’re becoming concerned about them being at home alone.
  • You’re concerned about your loved one suffering memory loss or are anxious about symptoms of dementia.
  • It is becoming increasingly difficult for them to prepare meals.
  • They are losing weight and becoming disinterested in what they once enjoyed.
  • They are starting to feel anxious at home on their own, during the day or at night.
  • They have had a bad fall at home and find it hard to move around on their own.
  • They have had a few accidents or keep forgetting to turn things off.

Some of these signs may be a result of something else that can be easily solved, but you know you know your family member better than anyone else. If you notice them acting differently or strangely this could also be a warning sign. 

Elderly woman in residential care

Different Types of Care Homes to Consider 

Depending on the needs of your loved one, you may need to consider residential care or specialist care for them. For example, there are care homes specifically for people with dementia. All care homes aim to increase the mental, physical, and emotional health of your loved one. 

The types of care homes include: 

  1. Residential Care – This offers personal care and support in a homely environment. Residential care is generally for people who are finding it difficult to remain independent at home and need assistance with day-to-day tasks. 
  2. Nursing Homes – These homes are for people who have very specific health needs which require the knowledge of a healthcare professional. Nursing homes have skilled nurses and medical professionals on hand all the time to ensure your loved one is kept safe.
  3. Dementia Care – People living with dementia often need specialised care to ensure comfort and familiarity, which means a space adapted to suit more complex health needs. 
  4. Respite Care – This is a temporary form of care that may be needed for a number of reasons. Your loved one may have recently had surgery, be recovering from illness or their usual caregiver may need a break.

Some care homes, like New Care, offer care and support for all of the above categories. We invest greatly in staff training and strive to ensure that we can accommodate most residents, with a wide range of care needs. For more information on our care services, please take a look here.

Elderly people making friends in residential care

Will My Loved One Receive Better Care in a Residential Home? 

The care your loved one will receive in a residential home will match their individual needs. Care home living ensures 24/7 supervision and security, as well as opportunities to socialise and facilities such as gardens, libraries and access to different well-being activities. For people who are physically disabled or struggling to move around like they used to, care homes can be much safer than their own homes.

Getting Advice On Care for Your Family Member 

Making this kind of decision for your loved one can be really challenging but it isn’t something you need to go through alone. With the right support and all the information, the decision and potential transition can be made as smooth as possible. If you’re still not sure if your family member requires a care home, you can take a look at our advice centre for more information on how to come to a decision or simply pick up a phone and give us a call, we are more than happy to talk to you about your options.