Feeling overwhelmed finding care home quickly

This is the first time I have ever posted anything anywhere . I am feeling overwhelmed and I guess any advice from anyone would be helpful as I feel I am totally alone in coping as my brother, as always is too busy to help
. My elderly mother, who has mid stage Vascular Dementia and various other health problems is currently in hospital(an hour away) following a fall at home even though she was with her carer at the time . She is now considered medically fit and the hospital want her out pronto. She can’t go back to having carers at home as no longer safe so I have to find a suitable residential/nursing home immediately.
I need her out of hospital as she is in an awful ward with no care. She is no longer able to do anything much for herself, won’t even drink without being prompted and because she is incredibly quiet and staff are so few and busy she is just ignored. She has been told to press button if she needs help but due to dementia she would never do this and anyway today i found call button doesn’t work (I did complain but no-one could find new batteries for it before I had to leave tonight.)
I feel the only way I can keep her alive is to be with her as much as possible there. That’s upsetting in itself as I then see how some of the patients are neglected. One poor frail lady fell heavily today when she tried to get to toilet alone as no staff available to help her. She was carted off to be X-rayed. Mums way of coping seems to withdraw more and more…
I need to find a care home but trying to do that and look after her and keep her safe is overwhelming. I know about cqc website but there is so much to read it is all terribly time consuming.
I am not feeling great myself, can’t sleep and very depressed and my marriage is affected badly as all I seem to b doing is sorting out/thinking about mum,
Mum is self funded which also seems to mean I am left without much help. I have had a separate agency at the hospital suggest two care homes for me to visit tomorrow that have availability, but they won’t be able to take her for another week if I even accept a place. I am also not particularly happy about where they are as even further for me to drive. I just want the best for mum but have no idea what to look for in a home and not much time to read up on it.
Does anyone else feel they are alone in coping and has anyone in a similar situation managed to get through it without having a breakdown?

Hi AliG … welcome to an extremely quiet forum as I type.

Present situation acknowledged … I will address each step forward in order.

( Ward sister if the level of care on the ward is inadequate ? If that doesn’t work , local PALS team ( See next link ) ! )


Being discharged from hospital - NHS

In short , by the book or … NO DISCHARGE.

As part of that process , REENABLEMENT CARE :

Care after illness or hospital discharge (reablement) - NHS

A temporary placement in a nursing home , funded by the NHS , for a maximum of 6 weeks , pending a longer term decision on future care.

An additional part of the discharge process … consideration of CHC / NHS Continuing Healthcare :

Two sections in particular :


IF your mother qualifies , all future nursing care will be FREE.

If she does not qualify , AGE UK … 2 links … choosing a nursing home / financing a move into a nursing home :
How to choose the right care home | Age UK

Paying for care | Working out the costs of elderly care | Age UK

The bare basics … more detailed information is available … making contact with AGE UK strongly recommended as they will talk you through both.

Enough from me … the above is enough to assist with the present situation.

I fully appreciate it is a lot to take in but … necessary for the future welfare of your mother.

Others will be along to extend their welcomes , and add their insights.

I have never had to look for a care home. My mother had many hospital stays and discharges and had carers at home. She was self funding but the local authority provided the care agency. Often, when deemed medically fit, the patient will be transferred to a ward with other medically fit people with a lower level of care - a holding bay.

Even though your mother is self funding, I would still think that the LA and hospital discharge team ought to be involved, and ultimately responsible, in finding a place for your mother, either a temporary bed or a long term home. I don’t think they ought to place all the responsibility on your shoulders alone. Have you asked them what they are doing to get your mother relocated, besides telling you that’s your job. I don’t think it has to be your job alone, whilst it would be good for you to research homes at a later date to educate yourself as to what’s available.

I don’t think you’ve told us if they’ve asked for you to take your mother home, but I would stand firm and refuse to entertain that option.

If the hospital wants their bed back, then they must work with social services to have that happen, in my view.

Hey I am so sorry you fond yourself in this situation. There should be a social worker at the hospital to help with finding care home place even if you are self funded?

Take a big deep breath and feel this will pass. You WILL find a place for her. She WILL be out of this ward. My dad went to a rehab centre (mainly people with strokes) as it took quite a while to find him a place. This was MUCH better than the general ward as people in for a while, staff were more constant. This gave us some breathing space to find somewhere. maybe ask if there is something like this in your area? Or maybe social services could move her to an emergency respite bed in a care home whilst you look for the ideal home?

Don’t be rushed into making a decision. If care on the ward not good don’t be afraid to complain. Perhaps ask your brother to take a day to go in and be with her whilst you blitz care home visits?

I would use as a starting point where would you like her to be and work out from there. Find out what care homes exist in that area and then take a look at the CQC report for those specific homes on the website. Call them for a chat with the manager. I found this really helpful in understanding how the system worked when I was absolutely clueless! Generally you then go and have a look around. I would also advise a second unannounced visit to make sure they are not putting on a good show. Worth looking at places even if they don’t have a place as things change. You will get a feel for where feels nice and where doesn’t.

Also if first home isn’t right don’t panic, you can always move her at a later date.

I hope you get things sorted. It is super-stressful, so I have massive sympathy. Make sure you take time for yourself and your partner in all of this.

Hello and welcome
My advise is do not let the hospital rush you.
I know it’s very hard but try to find some time to look round homes. If they are ok, you should be welcomed whatever time of day you go, without an appointment. The smell should tell you a lot. You will know the difference from stale odours. Are rooms cleaned daily, are the staff integrating with residents. Is the atmosphere good, friendly? Doesn’t matter if furnishings are a little older, but are they clean. Are there restrictions on visitors at meal times? I was so glad I could visit my late hubby at meal times, as there were issues around his food being cut into bite size pieces. He only had the use of one hand. A friend of mine was happy to travel to her dad, even if it meant less visits, feeling more comfortable that he was being cared for to a reasonable standard. Is there a large turnover of staff. If there is, it tells a tale! No home is perfect, sadly.
Needs have to take over from wants, for everyone concerned.
Sorry if this is overwhelming, just advice from experience.

Welcome to the forum. I’ve been in a similar position, it’s really, really horrible to be bullied by the hospital, who just want their bed back, but they CANNOT ignore the proper discharge procedures.
Yes, it does dominate all your thoughts if you let it. Don’t ignore your own long term happiness with your husband. Mum is nearing the end of her life, you are not. Your marriage should be a priority!
If mum is too ill to go home, have they done a Continuing Healthcare Assessment, to give free care?
This MUST be done, BEFORE they involved Social Services.

Social Services should be helping you find the right home for mum, and your own top priority should be getting the home as near as possible to where you live which is able to care for mum, whatever happens, until she dies. It should be her last move. Not nice to think about, but that’s the reality of the situation. Therefore, it must be an EMI NURSING home (Elderly Mentally Infirm).

Start by looking at the Care Quality Commission website to find out what is in your area, start with the nearest and work out. Do ONE A DAY, no more, write down your thoughts as you see each one, so they don’t get muddled. Choosing a care home is easier than you think, like buying a house. You will know very quickly if it is or isn’t a possibility, a bit like buying a house really!
Make sure you know what the fees are, the extras, talk to the Matron.

YOU MUST TAKE A DAY OFF FROM EVERYTHING, every week. You aren’t any good to anyone if you get ill. No hospital visits, no nursing home visits. It’s a long haul and you are already exhausted.

Ask your GP to recommend a counsellor to support you through all this. this was invaluable for me.

Any questions? Just keep asking us here on the forum, so many have been through the same situation.

Wow thank you all so much for these helpful replies. Lots to read and take in but I really appreciate all your help.

Your welcome.

Hello and welcome!

This is a online directory of care homes in Britain, use it as a starting point. Make a list of questions and visit a few possible homes in the area. Pay attention to your gut feeling but also do look at the reviews, ratings and inspection reports too. Talk with the care home staff.


You can find care home inspection reports on the Care Quality Commission website


Good luck! I hope that you find the websites useful.