Moving into a home can be stressful and often bring feelings of loss and disorientation. Care homes need to understand what makes a good transition for people and what individuals need to adjust to a new setting.
Emma Fleet - Daughter of Fred Fleet
Simon Stockton - Strategic Consultant in Health and Social Care
Vicky Clarke - Contracts Manager, Surrey Continuing Healthcare
Carol Taylor - Manager, Garth House care home
Alison Hardy - Manager, Athol House care home
Mary Israel - Activities Coordinator, Athol House care home
Emma Fleet: Me mum cared for me dad on her own for a good 20 years, he's been poorly for a long time, he hasn't just got dementia, he's got MS, so he's been homebound for a lot of years. And obviously my mum was his main carer and she wouldn't have him in a home, it was her worst nightmare to bring him in so bringing him in was not just a big thing for my dad but the whole family because we're a big family, we're very close it just upset everybody.
Simon Stockton: Strategic Consultant in Health and Social Care: For a lot of people moving into a care home can be accompanied with a real sense of loss. It's really important that care homes are able to think about what it feels like for people going through that process proactively and work with individuals and their families to find a way of reducing that emotional trauma and making the transition as as positive an experience as it can be so that it's not something that people look to as a last resort or feel that they're losing part of themselves when they move into a care home but they can also begin to look forward to what life might be like when they do move.
Vicky Clarke: Sometimes transitioning into a care home can be quite unexpected and what we would expect to see as commissioners is that the care home are able to reassure the resident that although this is a life changing experience for them they will do their very best to ensure that their lives aren't changed beyond all recognition and in fact it would be hoped that life can go on as much as it was before.
Carol Taylor: I always say to people don't look at just one care home don't choose the first place you go to it's but like choosing a car, you don't sit in a car for the first time and think, oh this is the one I'm going to have, you look at two or three different sorts of care homes because not each care home is gonna meet your needs. And I also say to families don't think about what you want out of a care home think about what your mum, dad, aunt and uncle are going to want out of a care home.
We look at people's needs physically but we also look at people's needs as a whole person so it's about looking at their spiritual needs, looking at their emotional needs and we also look at their home life what do you normally do at home?
If you live in a clutter free environment it's very clinical then this home may not be suitable but if you live in an old house that's very homely, it's got lots of wood in it then this house might be a nice place for you because it's very familiar.
Allison Hardy: When someone moves in even if we have the information that's been provided by the previous setting it's very important to check out whether the information is correct whether it's true to the individual at that point in time and it's very important for us to develop our own connection with the individual.
Mary Israel: Someone will say "oh he used to do this or he used to do that" and you know or "he can't do this" or "oh no you've got to feed them they can't feed themselves they can't assist themselves" you know and then you see the residents just sort of eat by themselves and they do feed themselves independent of what the family has just told you so it's sometimes I think families can be that - the resident can rely on the family member too much so much so that person, they feel that that person isn't able to move forward.
Allison Hardy: The moment you meet the person that's when that's your opportunity to start to develop that trust which is fundamental in the work that we do.
The crucial thing is that if you say to an to someone that you've just met you're going to come back in five minutes or you're going to do something for them that you actually do do that because nothing is quicker at breaking down a relationship of trust is not being able to do what you said you were going to do.
Emma Fleet: We took my Mum on holiday last year she's never been abroad in her life before and we've got her a passport and she'd never leave my Dad so she's never been. So we had a family holiday and if you asked her to done that a couple years ago she would have never left him for more than a day even going out for day she needs to be back in case the home rang or anything like that and she said now I'm going to go because I know he's in safe hands. And I think for my mom to have done that for ten days to go away... It's the first time she's ever done it, says a lot.
Transition: Points to Consider
- Build trust with potential residents and their families
- Make time to explore if your setting is a good fit. What else might work?
- Help people to think about how they want their life to move forward
Use the care home action plan – it’s free!
A MySCIE account is required to gain access to your care home action plan and answer the question on Transition.
Designed for managers and owners of care homes for older people, use this care home action plan to:
- Build a shared understanding of what personalisation (or person-centred care) means in a care home setting
- Identify and plan practical improvements that will make your home more personalised
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