Paying A Second Visit
Mary Goudge is an experienced matron/manager who worked in several nursing homes herself before moving on to work as a management consultant in a firm specialising in nursing homes.
If you decide to make a second visit try to take your relative with you. As it is probably going to be their new home they might like to see it before moving in. They may have questions to ask. If they can’t go with you, try to discuss the options with them. This will help to make them feel they have a choice and a hand in their future.
WHY MAKE ANOTHER VISIT?
The purpose of a second visit to one of the homes on your short-list is to:
- Refresh your memory.
- Take your relative – the prospective resident – if they are willing and able.
- Clarify information you’ve already received.
- Ask for any more information you need.
- Have a second look at the bedrooms and communal areas.
- Discuss with the matron any changes in your relative’s physical or mental health.
PREPARING FOR YOUR SECOND VISIT
- 1.Note any physical or mental changes in your relative, eg have they developed leg ulcers or pressure sores or been diagnosed as having an illness such as Parkinson’s since you last saw the matron?
- 2.Note changes in their drug regime and/or treatment.
- 3.Phone the matron of the home and ask if there are any vacancies. Tell them of any changes in your relative’s health and ask if they would still be willing to admit them.
- 4.If the matron agrees to admit your relative, subject to their own and the care manager’s assessments, make an appointment to see the home again at a time to suit you and your relative, if they are able to go with you.
- 5.Prepare a new checklist and take it with you. (Don’t forget to take a pen.)
See the suggested list in Figure 10. Customise it to suit the circumstances.
If you intend to visit more than one home for a second time make out another comparison chart (see Figure 11).
- 6.Gather together all the information about the home you are going to visit for the second time. Look through it and make a note of:
- anything you didn’t ask about before
- anything you would like clarified
- new information you need.
- 7.Allow plenty of time for the visit.
- 8.Take your relative with you if possible.
- 9.Ask another family member or a friend to accompany you.
VISITING THE SECOND TIME
- Introduce your relative, if they are with you, to the matron or nurse in charge.
- Ask if they can be shown a bedroom, communal rooms and bathrooms.
- Modern style baths such as a ‘Parker bath’ may worry your relative until they have actually tried one. Ask if your relative could see a demonstration and an explanation of how it works. They may need reassurance about any other equipment seen in the home.
- Encourage your relative to chat to staff and other residents. This will help them feel there is somebody they know in the home.
- Allow them to ask questions.
- Ask to see the menus and show them to your relative. Point out the foods you know they like.
- Ask the matron or nurse in charge to discuss the daily routine with them.
- The matron may take this opportunity to assess your relative to ensure that the home is the right place for them to be cared for on a long-term basis.
- Provided there is a vacancy most matrons will allow prospective residents to be admitted for a trial period before they decide to become a permanent resident.
- If all goes well and your relative agrees, you could ask the matron to make their assessment then, if they have not already done so, with a view to your relative’s subsequent admission.
- If you didn’t read the registration and insurance certificates, inspectors’ report or the residents’ charter on your last visit ask to see them.
- Make notes of everything you think will be important to yourself and your relative.
After the visit talk to your relative about the visit. Encourage them to see all the good things about the home. Help them to think positively about the future.
- Is there anything else you or your relative want to discuss?
- Have the assessments been carried out?
- Have you started to compile a list of the items they want to take with them?