After you have moved to a care home, a whole new chapter of life begins.

Resolving problems

The information we have included here is intended to help make sure that you can maintain the very best possible quality of life in your new home, resolve any problems and make the most of the opportunities it presents.

Back to topPlanning care

Everyone in residential care should have a “care plan” that is written with the resident and, if relevant, his or her family or carer. People funded by the Local authority or NHS should already have a plan. If you are funding yourself, then it is the responsibility of the registered manager of the home to work with you to agree the care plan and to make sure it is followed and regularly reviewed with you.

The government’s guidance as to the minimum standards for care plans and what they should cover can be found here.

Back to topFamilies and friends

As the documents mentioned above suggest, you should have every opportunity to stay in touch with families and friends who can, if you wish, continue to be important parts of your life and your care.

This publication (which is available to purchase) from the national R&RA discusses some of the issues involved.

Back to topQuality of life

A good quality of life requires both that the essential details are taken care of and also that there are opportunities to maintain and develop relationships and activities.

The articles on this page deal with some of the important practical details.

As far as the positive quality of life is concerned, the Social Care Institute for Excellence has published a guide to best practice in residential care homes that sets out what can and should be done. You can find it here.

A joint collaboration between Help the Aged and other organisations has also produced an important document called “My Home Life” which is the focus of this major initiative in Essex. 

Back to topHealth

Wherever we live, we all need to take care of our health. This doesn’t just mean getting treatment for ailments, but actively maintaining our health – eyes, ears, teeth, feet, nutrition, exercise etc. There is no reason why this should change for care home residents.

In some care homes it is possible to stay registered with your own GP. In others, it may be necessary to register with a local GP, who may look after other residents in the home. Your right to register with the GP of your choice (as long as he or she can accept you on the list) is unchanged. You can find information about GP services in care homes here.

It is also important to ensure that you have access to any other services that you may need, such as chiropody, dentistry, audiology, optician etc. Your health needs should be covered in your care plan and the manager of the home should be able to tell you how they can be met.

This leaflet from Age UK gives some ideas about ways to make sure you stay as healthy as possible.

The national minimum standards for health and personal care can be found in Sections 7-11 of this document.

Back to topConcerns and complaints

Occasionally, it is inevitable that things go wrong. If you are concerned about an aspect of care, the first step is to try to resolve it with the manager of the home.

If you are not satisfied, and your care is funded by the Local Authority or the Primary Care Trust, you may want to get in touch with the person responsible in the relevant authority, as they are parties, with you, to the contract with the home.

The Care Quality Commission has some guidance on how to complain about a health or social care service.

If you, or someone you have been caring for is subject to abuse, it is essential to get in touch with the “Safeguarding Adults” team. Essex, Southend and Thurrock share a common set of guidelines on abuse.

If you need to discuss a situation where you know, or suspect there may be abuse, you may wish to use the Advice Line run by “Action on Elder Abuse”, telephone 0808 808 8141

You can find more information on abuse here from Age UK.