Finding a nursing home

Mum had a fall a few months back and managed to break her hip which was replaced surprisingly quickly but unfortunately even after a couple of months worth of rehabilitation, her mobility is still way down from what it was and stairs aren’t a runner for her. That’s something of a problem as she’d have to be able to deal with the stairs to come home and so we’ve been looking for some kind of nursing home.

At the discharge meeting the consensus was that it would need to be a nursing home rather than a residential one so off we went round looking at places on that basis. All of that time was wasted as a) she’d not been formally assessed (and didn’t need “nursing” as it turned out) and b) every place we went to had a waiting list (20 years, yes TWENTY YEARS, in one case!!).

As far as rehabilitation goes, you get up to six weeks before they start looking for money and then you’ve 48 hours to move before you start writing cheques. That being the case, you’d think that they’d do the assessment a week or two in advance of discharge but in our case it was done the day before she notionally had to leave. Anyway, that kicked off another round of running around looking at residential homes. Except that they too had waiting lists and it was only a few days later that we were given a short list of ones that didn’t have lists. A list with three places on it, two of which were miles away and the third of which had a waiting list. So we asked again and were given another name which had a place. Except that it didn’t as it was away by the time we got there, just a couple of hours after getting the name of it.

We asked the doctor and he had a name of a place that seemed perfect. Snag was that it turned out not to be a runner financially. What they didn’t tell us was that they’d pay £426 and we’d have to pay anything above that. You might think that the person going in could pay it but they can’t as it has to be a “3rd party” (ie usually the sons/daughters). It’s also worth bearing in mind that this “top-up” can go up quite dramatically over the years eg one place we know of went from £10 a week to getting on for £100 a week over the course of 10 years (bear in mind that people usually stay 10-15 years).

Anyway, we’re back to the place that said they had a waiting list but had two empty rooms. Quite why those rooms were available us and not offered to those on the waiting list first is a mystery, but then so much of nursing home lore is a mystery. The remaining issue with it is that it’s basically an unfurnished flat so we need to source some furniture.

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