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Moving From One Care Home To Another: A Guide

Fonthill House, St Albans, Hertfordshire

Moving from one care home to another will always be a difficult decision and can pose a somewhat daunting change. It can take months of planning and careful decision-making, so having to move is understandably very challenging.

Whether you wish to move care homes because you’re unhappy or you have had a change in circumstances, it’s always worth discussing the decision with your family, friends, staff and managers of the care home beforehand. Here’s how to successfully move from one care home to another with minimal disruption.

What are the common reasons for changing care homes?

There are plenty of reasons you may wish to change care homes – it might not feel ‘right’ and you’re unhappy, your care needs may have changed or general life circumstances are no longer the same. It’s important to change care homes if it’s affecting your happiness or health. Everyone has different reasons to change and you shouldn’t ever feel guilty about it.

You’re not feeling happy

A common reason many decide to switch care homes is due to simply feeling unhappy. No matter how much time you spend trying to find the right care home, it doesn’t always end up being the one for you. 

You might feel unhappy due to the general feel of the environment, the staff, other residents or your needs aren’t being met. Your mental health can be seriously impacted when unhappy in a care home so it’s important to either get to the root of the problem with the solution potentially being to move care homes.

Your care needs have changed

If you’ve been in a care home for some time, your care needs might have changed over the years so much that your current care home can no longer fulfil those needs. This could be anything from staff that aren’t qualified for your needs or a lack of appropriate facilities for your care.

As a result, moving into a nursing home might be a better option if you’re suffering from a deteriorating health condition. However, some care homes do specialise in areas such as dementia, for example. It’s always worth discussing your additional needs with your current care home staff as they may be able to accommodate those needs.

Your financial situation has changed

If your financial circumstances have changed and you’re unable to afford to stay at your care home, you can do a care needs assessment. This checks whether you’re eligible for funding from your local authority, the NHS or a third party. 

Unfortunately, if you’re not eligible for funding, then you may need to move to a less expensive care home.

What is the process for moving care homes?

You’re not alone when changing care homes as over 90% of UK care home residents said they would consider switching. The process of moving care homes shouldn’t be difficult as you’ll be repeating the same process you underwent to find your current care home. However, now you’ll have a clearer idea of what you want and don’t want, which certainly makes it easier.

Review your current contract information

If you’re paying for your care, you should have a contract between yourself and your current care home. It’s important that you double-check the terms and conditions in order to serve the required notice period and understand how to cancel. 

If your care home is paid for by your local authority, the contract will be between social services and the care home. In this case, you can call your local council and discuss the next steps on how to move

Research and visit other care homes

The next step is to find your new care home. Conducting your own research and visiting multiple care homes is key. Here are some things to consider when searching for your next home:

  • Make a note of what you like and dislike about your current home. Why are you leaving? Make sure the new care home meets your needs.
  • Take a look at the Care Quality Commission score of different care homes and reviews from friends and family of residents online.
  • Do you need specialist care? Ensure your new care home can meet any special care needs.
  • Consider location, staff, activities and environment when looking around care homes.
  • Ask questions! If there’s something you dislike about your current care home, ask the staff at the new home about your concerns.

Request a new needs assessment

If you’re looking to move care homes due to a change in needs, make sure that you request a needs assessment from your local social services. After completing the assessment, healthcare professionals and your local council will be able to suggest the next steps. Whether that’s moving into a specialist care home or nursing home.

Make a complaint about your current care home if required

If you wish to move from one care home to another due to a complaint, then it’s important to discuss this with your current care home staff and manager. This could potentially help rectify the situation or prevent it from happening again in the future. The staff may be unaware of your dissatisfaction and improve. If your complaint is ignored, you can always escalate it to the Care Quality Commission

It’s important to be happy and comfortable in your care home which is why you should always discuss any concerns with staff. If nothing improves, moving care homes is absolutely an option. If you follow the steps in this guide, moving care home should be a straightforward process.

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