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Moving Elderly People from One Care Home to Another

Article by Daniel Westhead Daniel Westhead Sure Safe Alarms
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There’s a lot of work involved to make sure that a move to a care home goes well. Once it’s done, both the care home resident and their family members will naturally hope that the new home will be a great fit.

However, sometimes a move to another care home becomes necessary. That might be due to problems or friction at the care home, but it might also occur for other reasons. For example, perhaps an older person’s health or needs have changed, or the original care home might even be closing down.

Regardless of the reasoning behind the change, moving elderly people from one care home to another is a process that requires care and attention. In this post, we’ll discuss points to consider when you’re leaving one care home to go into another.

Agreeing about the move to a new care home

We’ve previously discussed the concept of mental capacity in relation to older people with dementia, on our blog. Essentially, if a person has mental capacity to make a decision, that person has the ability to understand the factors involved in the decision, weigh them up, and communicate their decision.

When an elderly person does have mental capacity, then obviously a family member can’t decide to move them to a different care home without their consent.

The situation becomes trickier if an older person does not have mental capacity regarding decisions about where they live. In this case, someone else typically has to make these decisions. That person may have power of attorney, or they might have been made a deputy through the Court of Protection. If no-one was given power of attorney, the care home might be able to make decisions for the elderly person.

The details here are complex, but the main point is that when an older person has dementia and can’t make their own decisions, it’s important for proper procedures to be followed regarding who does have the right to make those decisions.

So, let’s say you’re wondering, “Can I move my mother from one nursing home to another?”

UK rules say that it depends. If she has mental capacity, wants to move, and can pay for the new home, there’s no problem. But family members can’t always assume they have the right to remove a parent with dementia from a care home or nursing home.

Checking your financial responsibility

Some older people may pay for their own care homes, while others may receive funding from the council. When you’re moving elderly people from one care home to another, what you should do will differ depending on who’s funding the care at each home.

If the original care home was council-funded and you want to continue using council funding

If an elderly person’s stay in their original care home was funded by their council, then they should have a care and support plan. This would have been created after a needs assessment through which the council judged exactly what help the older person required.

The care and support plan will include information about how the council will help with care, including details about care homes.

NHS resources on social care state that:

You can choose which care home you prefer, as long as the council agrees it:

  • meets your needs
  • is not more expensive than another suitable care home.

If an older person wants to move to a care home that is more expensive than another suitable care home, then someone else (not the older person) can pay a “top up fee” to cover the cost difference.

If you need the council to review the care and support plan, you can contact your council’s adult social services.

If you were not using council funding and want to continue self-funding

If you are not using council funding, the only financial consideration to keep in mind is what you have agreed to in the contract with the care home. For example, there might be a penalty for leaving on short notice. Take a look at our related blog post for more on the rights of care home residents.

If you were not using council funding but need to start getting help from the council

In this situation, you’ll want to request a care needs assessment from your council. If they judge that they will pay for an older person’s care, they will provide information about care homes.

Preparing for the move

Once you’ve followed the above steps, it’s time to get ready for the move. This shouldn’t be too tricky, as moving elderly people from one care home to another involves many of the same steps from the first move to a care home.

Signing the contract for the new care home

This is fairly self-explanatory, but, as always, you’ll want to check the contract to ensure it’s reasonable.

Packing all essential items

Many care homes will ask you to label clothing with a resident’s name so that it doesn’t get lost. If you haven’t done this before, it may be a good idea to do it now.

In general, it will be necessary for all of the older person’s possessions to be packed up for the move. If the older person has dementia or poor vision, they might need help confirming that all of their items are going with them, and nothing is lost.

Getting used to the new care home – perhaps

If an older person has chosen a new care home, then they’ve probably already visited and toured to see what it’s like. Still, in some cases, such as if a resident has severe dementia, it may not be possible for them to get accustomed to the new care home. In this situation, it may be important to place the older person’s important possessions in their new room right away to give them a sense of comfort and familiarity.

Ensuring the new care home has all essential information

If an elderly person has specific dietary or medical needs, you’ll want to ensure all of this information is understood by their new home before they arrive.

Changing address

Lastly, you don’t want to forget doing a mail redirection with Royal Mail so that no birthday cards or important bank letters go missing.

How personal alarms can protect care home residents

You might think of an elderly personal alarm as being ideal for an older person living alone – and it’s true that many older people do use them that way.

However, if an elderly person living in a care home has especially fragile health or just wants a little reassurance, they may benefit from a personal alarm too.

For example, carers can’t always be on hand at every moment. An older person might easily get up in the middle of the night and then slip and fall without being noticed.

A fall detection alarm is a great way to protect against this scenario. Just as its name suggests, it senses when its wearer has fallen and calls for help all on its own – even if the wearer is unconscious.

Likewise, a one-touch personal alarm allows an older person to call for help immediately with the touch of just one button. That’s great for an older person at risk of health events like heart attacks. The alarm allows them to call for help right away, nearly effortlessly.

If you are considering purchasing a personal alarm and want a little advice, feel free to talk to use at SureSafe. We’re a UK leader in providing affordable, easy-to-use personal alarms for the elderly. Just reach out to our expert team at 0800 112 3201, through our live chat or by requesting a call back.

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