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What to expect when someone moves to a care home

As our loved one’s conditions progress or as our own circumstances change, many of us may find ourselves making the (often difficult) decision to move someone to a care home or residential home.

“Replace the word ‘guilty’ with ‘sad’. You may feel sad that this has happened, but you shouldn’t feel guilty.” – Fiona, carer.

Even if we are comfortable in our decision it can be a difficult and emotional time. It is common for people to feel a mix of emotions like sadness and even guilt. We spoke to a group of carers at a Carer Café about their experiences to help others in this situation.

Talk to other carers

If you’ve recognised that extra support may be needed, it can be overwhelming looking through all of your options. Or if the person you care for has already moved it can be difficult to adjust to this transition. Wherever you are in your caring role, it’s useful to reach out to others. Many carers highlighted the importance of speaking to other carers, as they understand the practical and emotional challenges you can face.

“Carers often don’t reach out until later on, it’s useful to meet others earlier on in your caring role.” – Fiona, carer.

If you’d like to connect with others who are in a caring role, come along to a free activity.

Get to know the team

To help both you and your loved one during this period, our group recommend you meet the care team and residents when visiting various care homes. This is a great chance to get to know the team, help the person you care for make friends with other residents and it will give you an idea of the overall atmosphere of the facility. Another tip is to arrange a check-in meeting with a senior member of the care team after a month. This is an opportunity for you to see hear from them and voice any concerns. If you and the person you care for do not feel like this is the right option you can decide to place them in a more suitable care home.

“When you see the care in place, you will feel better. They give a great level of attention that is impossible for you to give alone, 24/7.” – Anonymous, carer.

Spend quality time together

Although it can be challenging, there can also be many benefits for you and your loved one when they move to a care home. The person you care for will have care and support around the clock as well as other residents to socialise with, and you will have some time and energy to focus on yourself and your own needs.

Managing our relationship with the person we care for is not always easy. The Carer Café attendees agree that the pressure starts to lift and you feel more like their wife, husband, daughter etc again. You will still be their carer (if you choose to be), but you get space away from your caring role to have some precious time together.  

“You can spend more quality time together and go for coffee or something else you enjoy.” – Val, carer.

If you’d like further advice or support about your loved one moving to a care home contact our Freephone Support Line on 0800 038 8885 or email us at (Mon - Fri, 8:15am to 12pm).

Need to talk? Call our Freephone Support Line on 0800 0388 885 (Mon-Fri, 9am – 1pm)