Where to live next: A social care expert gives her advice to ease your stress levels

This is it. The conversation you’ve been dreading. It’s the talk about the daunting prospect of moving into a care home and waving your beloved home goodbye. The fear sets in and you begin to feel a bit scared about what the future holds. But getting more support to ensure you can live your life to the fullest doesn’t have to be so overwhelming.

Sue Brand, managing director of RDB Star Rating, has produced a flyer which gives helpful information about what to look for and what to ask when you are looking at where to live next.

“It’s true. Most of us prefer to stay in our own homes as long as possible, and rightly so. But there can come a time when the quality of life deteriorates and running your home becomes too much of a struggle,” said Mrs Brand. Choosing another place to live is daunting, especially if your current residence has been your home for a long time – but planning ahead keeps the stress levels down and makes the transition run smoother.

“Knowing the options and having planned for the future will provide comfort and reassurance if a time comes that you need more support with your care. If no planning has been done in advance, it is too easy to make an unwise choice under emotional stress or time pressure.” Planning is all about knowing your options, so what are they exactly?

1. Staying in your own home (Domiciliary care)
2. Retirement villages/sheltered housing
3. Residential care
4. Care home with nursing

Staying in your own home is definitely an attractive option for many people, with care and support provided by carers who visit regularly. If you want to remain independent but require some support with your day to day living, sheltered housing or a retirement village may be the best option. If you need assistance with your care needs, Residential care homes have staff members that provide care and personal assistance, as well as communal areas for socialisation and making friends. If you need a lot of support with you care and medical needs, Nursing homes offer 24 hour a day nursing care with qualified nursing staff on site. Like everything in life, research is the key to determining the right place for the next phase of your life. “A little time and effort will prove invaluable in determining the right choice of accommodation for each person”.

When deciding where to live, start by deciding your location, price range and the type of support you will need. Next, telephone possible options, requesting a brochure and asking a few key questions such as:

1. Does the home offer a trial period before deciding to move in permanently?
2. May residents furnish their own rooms?
3. Are there en-suite facilities?
4. Is there unrestricted visiting for friends and family?
5. What is included in the cost and are there hidden extras?

“A trial stay can provide answers to many questions that you have which will allow you to make an informed decision about where to live next.” Follow this advice, and you won’t have to worry about that conversation as much because it’s already covered. Break it down, step-by-step and you’ll be an expert at planning your next chapter.

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