Assisted living or care home

My mum lives with me but I cannot manage her care any longer and she will be moving to either assisted living or a residential care home. Her health visitor is currently recommending assisted living although I feel I don’t understand the difference. My mum is mobile, can be forgetful, she no longer Cooks and needs help with showering etc. She is going to memory clinic soon as recommended. We visited assisted living and it is ideal and she really liked it but it is on 3 floors and I can’t see her using the lift on her own and think whilst she uses stairs at home would struggle with height of stairs there. She desperately wants company and their is a lovely dining room there where people gather for a chat and dinner. Does anyone know if assisted living help with bringing people up and down lifts and helping them find their way round. I don’t know if this is expecting too much. She will have carers starting at twice a day and I have been told this will be increases to 3 or 4 times as required. I am new to this and just want to make right decision for my mum. Also when someone goes to assisted living when does a decision get made that it’s not suitable for someone and has to move into a residential home. Sorry if this is unclear just need some info from anyone who has made similar choices or who has any help they can give. Thank u very much

From what you describe, I would urge you to find a care home, that also has a nursing section, so that mum’s move is her last one.
Assisted living won’t do much, if any, personal care.
Some care homes expect residents to be able to get themselves up and showered and ready for breakfast without help.

If mum moved into a care home which kept residents active, doing things, she could enjoy company and have her needs met.
As her needs increased, if there was a nursing section, she could gradually have more help, but within a building and people she knew.
(Care homes are not required to have qualified nurses on duty at all times, nursing homes are).
I would suggest that first you look at the Care Quality Commission to find out what homes are in your area. Good homes have waiting lists. Maybe try the one she thinks she would like to go to on a respite care basis to start with.

If mum needs help with washing, and has memory problems, she may be entitled to Attendance Allowance.
Residential care is expensive. Do you have Power of Attorney? If not, sort this out urgently!
Generally, if mum has over £23,000 in savings she will be classed as “self funding” by Social Services.
Please talk to our helpline for more detailed information on a confidential basis.

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I tend to agree with BowlingBun that a residential/nursing care home is the best way to go.

Back in the day Assisted Living accommodation included care workers and a House Manager on site to ensure that residents were safe and could get help with any problems when they needed it - these days that doesn’t happen, it’s too expensive !. A manager, if there is one allocated, is now usually on the other end of the telephone and the only care workers around are those that come in to see specific residents. A lot of residential places require that residents manage their own personal care and can prepare their own breakfast (and, often, other meals too) in a communal kitchen - whereas in a care home there are care assistants and a communal dining room where all meals are provided. I doubt that the place you describe would have staff available to help your Mum navigate the stairs/lift whereas in a residential care home the staff will ensure that all residents are “present & correct” for mealtimes and encourage them to join in activities.

When we were looking at places for our Mum we discounted all the “posh hotel” type homes and checked only those that had a “homely” feel - most were a bit tatty round the edges but the staff were kind and friendly. We went on the basis “would I like to stay here ?”.

My mum was in one of the “posh hotel” nursing homes. They were kind and caring, staff always said hello to me, and were very supportive, especially when mum was nearing the end. The company have won numerous awards. The MD of the company regularly checked with me that everything was fine - he was my nest door neighbour!
I knew mum’s life was limited, and chose somewhere I knew she would like.
On the other hand I have known many small care homes which were also lovely, and very homely.
I’ve also known some that I could never ever recommend.

Look at what is available, only go to one per day, and be sure to ask for a brochure (CQC requirement) which lays out terms and conditions, what they can offer. Make sure it’s easy for you to visit.

Sometimes it’s better to look at somewhere that has various grades of care. Near me there are some small bungalows next to the care home mum went to. The bungalow people can eat in the home and have care provided when needed. As needs increase, they can move into the home itself.

There are so many different types of care homes that are located all over the country. Make a list of the ones in your local area and then schedule a appointment in order to go to view them. Find out as much as possible in advance. Keep a written record of your findings and observations as you walk around from room to room of the care home in question. Good luck.
Consider whether the staff and occupants are on good terms with each other or not. Ask about future planned care home activities and clubs and also trust your gut feeling. You can find much more up to date information on the Internet. Try looking at care home reports on the CQC website and also use as this is a great source of information and relevant advice.
Often times you can learn a lot more from the care home website. Send them a email or give them a quick call tomorrow morning first thing to discuss your mother. You will know when you have actually found the right home for her. Truly you will. Read some care home reviews in addition that may help.
If you can, view a updated paper copy of the care home admission policy or online. Which has a handy care home selection guide that could potentially prove the most helpful thing that you have actually ever read. You can surely do this. One more important thing to know about is healthy eating. Make a lot of friendly but discreet inquiries regarding this.
The care home should be clean welcoming and tidy. Meet with the home owner and manager to talk about policies and current numbers.