[Hi SE1-ers. Request for info/advice from my wife. Most grateful for any help. Thanks a lot.]
We are looking for suitable residential care homes in (or close to) SE1 for a 76 year old who is in good shape physically and mentally. We are looking for a home where there is a lively sense of community and committed, active carers.
This is an elderly person who needs residential care to help with short term memory and the reassurance of knowing there are people nearby to help. She is in-between the stages of being unable to live independently in sheltered accommodation but not frail enough to require nursing.
It is important that the care home has a good range of ages - especially including those who are still physically able and mentally agile. Any recommendations or advice gratefully received.
Stay away from the one at bricklayers arms roundabout. Be wary of homes where you can not go in unannounced but have to make appointment just to have a look around. Ditto ones that have set visiting times. Check what time residents are awoken in morning, make sure they are not packed off to bed purely to suit staff. Check kitchen for meals and menus.ask f they have hairdressers.
Ask if residents have any activities...check ratio of staff to residents at night. Check staff doling out medication are qualified. Make sure your relative is examined for bruising,marks before admission.. Find out complaints procedure. If the heating is whacked up to a hundred degrees it's for staff benefit..
If you enter a home where smell. Of urine hits you...that's bad because it means they've been left. If poo that can be unavoidable if someone has just used lavatory.
Many more things I can't remember. It may be better if you can employ a couple of live in people so she will feel comfortable in her own home? This may not be possible Ivanhoe but definitely cheaper. Up in Derby the rate for a decent home is 800 a week.
The only home I could honestly recommend has closed..st.olaves ,Ann moss way. Have you contacted Age Concern for advice..or gone on Care Quality thing and checked ratings for any you find? It really is a heartbreaking minefield and don't know if Southwark had many homes left? Xx
Thanks so much for such a detailed reply, Jan.
You’ve made loads of really useful points for us to take into consideration. Really appreciate you taking the time to do that.
I thought from previous threads over the years that you’d had some experience in this area, so I real value your thoughts.
I hope you’re well. All the best xxx
I spent a lot of time last year looking for a home for my father and would agree with Jan that good homes in London are few and far between. The two homes that ticked all the boxes as far as we were concerned are run by the same group (Berkley Care Group). First choice was Ryefield Court care home in Hillingdon and second was Groveland Park care home in Bexleyheath.
Hope that helps - if you want any further info, please PM me
"It is important that the care home has a good range of ages - especially including those who are still physically able and mentally agile."
Unfortunately, what you are looking for may be difficult or impossible to find; people who are physically able and mentally agile do not live in care homes, as the care model in the UK really is to care for people in their own homes unless this is impossible. I have had reason to visit residents in care homes as part of my recent training in an allied health science, and I have encountered very few I could describe as 'mentally agile' - the commonest reason for needing the support of a care home is dementia, and the institutional nature of these places does not promote the kind of active problem solving people get living in their own homes: the everyday decisions and occupational activities that keep us active and alert - such as making a cup of tea - are absent because they are performed by staff.
It sounds like what you are looking for is more along the lines of sheltered housing but in a shared setting (rather than individual units) with staff on hand... I don't know if such a thing exists, and I certainly haven't encountered it in Southwark, although I wish you all the best finding it - it's a great idea!
I would second Jan's suggestion of live-in staff whose care can be tailored to the person's individual level of need if at all possible, with visits to day centres and lunch clubs where she will encounter far livelier, more independent peers than in a care home.
Just a thought Ivanhoe, did you see if Park Street sheltered housing had any vacancies? Think it's now called Lucy Brown house, near Southwark bridge. There was a large communal area, think a large kitchen, lovely ground floor flats my sister in laws Mum was there twenty five or so years ago. I was amazed Southwark hadn't sold it off..prime properties normally are..worth following up. It is a stimulating area now if you think Mum could handle it? Xx
Lucy Brown House still exists but council cuts means that the kitchen is no longer used & most residents cook themselves or have meals on wheels. The manager is only on site 8.30-4.30 Mon-Fri, and out of hours is the council helpline. There is very little sense of community sadly in this home, which is very sad because it does have a good sized communal area.
The sheltered accommodation which I was most impressed with is Tudor Stacks in Herne Hill SE24, which isn’t too far away. The flats are well maintained, the residents are engag8ng & good fun, plus there is a good sense of community.