/ Health

What can we learn from undercover care home visits?

Care home

How do you distinguish between a good and bad care home? We sent a team of experts undercover to assess six residential and nursing homes and then give us their advice on what to look for choosing a care home.

If I asked you to describe a bad hotel, you wouldn’t have too much trouble: we’ve all been to hotels with uncomfortable beds, terrible breakfasts and night-time disturbances from more sociable guests. Whereas a good hotel experience can make us misty-eyed years later.

Similarly, a good or bad hospital experience probably isn’t too hard to describe.

But when it comes to care homes, it’s not so easy. So many factors are at play, and one person’s idea of a cosy, homely environment can be another’s chaotic mess.

Choosing a care home isn’t straightforward

Almost half of those we surveyed who had arranged care told us they found it difficult to get a reliable picture of what potential homes were actually like to live in. Some 20% said that brochures and websites failed to give an accurate picture, and 9% said they felt that homes were dishonest about what they can offer.

We try and make sense of the things we can enumerate: what does the regulator’s inspection report say? What do we smell when we walk in? Are there tempting menus and engaging activity programmes?

Of course, all of these factors make up different pieces of the puzzle, but things get more complicated when you start considering more subtle differences between homes.

For example, staff wearing a uniform may appear competent, but on the other hand, staff in their own unique clothes may indicate a home that values the personalities that its staff bring to your relative’s care.

And what about a home that scraps the activities programme but involves its residents in everyday life – from an ex-chef peeling the spuds to a retired DIY enthusiast helping the handyman put together an Ikea flat-pack? This could turn out to be a rare gem.

Undercover experts investigate…

To find out about what you should be looking for when viewing a home, we sent three experts to six residential and nursing homes, posing as relatives looking for a care home for their mum. As an expert panel, they then analysed all the undercover recordings, and gave their conclusions.

The quality of visits varied to a shocking degree. Care home viewings play a vital part in a difficult and life-changing decision for relatives, yet two of the six pre-arranged visits had been forgotten by the home staff.

On another visit, there were no chairs in the office used for speaking to visitors. Here’s what one of our experts told us:

‘We had to stand. I was holding a coat, bag and notepad and managed to drop everything at one point. I did wonder if this might have triggered her finding us chairs or another space – but it didn’t! It felt like she really wanted me out.’

A good home will ask lots of questions about your relative and their needs. But in four of our six visits this was not the case. One inspector told us:

‘There was a strong focus on things like the bathrooms and equipment… stressing locked cupboards and safety. Not as much on what was really important to me – my mum’s quality of life.’

Our experts were asked very little on the phone before they visited and as a result concluded that relatives could potentially waste a lot of time in visiting unsuitable homes.

How do you find the right care home?

Our panel recommended using all your senses when you visit – from what you see (for example, do residents look happy, well cared-for and relaxed rather than slumped asleep?) to what you hear (chatter and laughter rather than shouting and the persistent ringing of call bells?).

As our experts explained, a good care home will be keen to find out what your relative’s individual needs are when you visit. Make a note of what questions they ask you and how much time they spend assessing your relative’s needs – compared to how much time is spent on a general sales patter.

Find a care home

How easy have you found it to judge a care home? What would you recommend to others when choosing a care home?

Comments

Some years ago a work colleague asked me for help with finding a care home for her father, who was in his early 90s who was living alone but struggling because of failing vision and poor hearing, but in remarkable mental and physical condition for his age. She had been preparing to move him to a care home for a couple of years and had investigated the care homes within five miles or so of her home, planning to visit regularly. We looked at reports online and by speaking to friends and friends of friends, managed to get information about the possible homes.

We went to visit the three shortlisted homes and the one that seemed best on paper was an MHA care home with a waiting list, and it might be a year or two before a place was available. The next one looked impressive independent care home and places were available at a price, but money was not a problem. It seemed rather clinical rather than homely and looked as if it was intended to impress visitors. The old chap was registered, but stayed on the waiting list for a place at the MHA care home.

The care home proved satisfactory, though the advertised outings for patients proved to be few and far between, the food was adequate but unappealing and the staff could sometimes have been more helpful. We suggested that brighter lighting might have helped him see better, but no action was taken after repeated requests to fit more powerful lamps. A place did come up at the MHA care home but the old man was settled and had made a few friends. After a few years he passed away unexpectedly and the care home asked for his possessions to be removed within a few days, which was very insensitive. Even if someone was desperate for a place, the small number of possessions could have been stored until after the funeral.

I agree that choosing a care home is not straightforward but like choosing a home or job, it deserves effort and planning.

If you visit a Care Home and find the living/community area has chairs stacked round the room in a large circle, then do be careful before choosing such a place. In this kind of situation it looks as if the residents will just be “dumped” in chairs for the day. It is far preferable to have chairs and tables arranged in small groups where people can chat face to face with others – more sociable, which is definitely what is needed.

This is described in the Feb magazine as….”broken care home system”. This has become a much over-used phrase adjective. The report indicates that gradual improvements are being made, with the CQC having inspected all English homes. So there is a system that seems effective in assessing homes, that is not broken. What seems a deficiency is in dealing with homes that fail to meet acceptable standards; “inadequate” I would have thought was the criteria they use to cover those, but the report combines these with “in need of improvement” and I’d prefer to see these separated. It would also be useful to see on what criteria those that were “inadequate” failed out of the 5 used.

However, having identified homes that are unacceptable, the problem seems to be how we raise standards. Should each home be licensed, and have that withdrawn if it persistently fails to get into a satisfactory category? Should local authorities be made responsible for administering this for all the homes in their area? How would it be funded? I’d suggest an annual license fee proportional to the number of beds, paid by the owners, together with inspections that are over and above a routine one – due to less than satisfactory conditions – are also paid for by the owner. (Perhaps this already happens?)

A problem will arise when no improvement takes place. Closing a home would displace residents – to where? Should the local authority take it over and maybe use council tax to help run it?

I am fed up with Which? frequently using headline-grabbing phrases like “broken . . . system”. I don’t think serious consumer concerns should be trivialised in this way. It shows a lack of responsibility and professionalism in my view.

The care home ‘system’ – which isn’t really a system at all as it is not integrated or comprehensively managed – is a fairly complex business with a lot of interdependent considerations which should not be over-simplified.

Malcolm raises some pertinent questions. The owners of a care home in Norfolk which has been in special measures have decided to close it as they realised they would not be able economically to bring it up to a compliant standard. The County Council has had to step in and re-home the residents at short notice. This will be a difficult exercise since it might make it much more inconvenient for the residents’ relatives, will almost certainly break up friendships, and transfer residents’ to new environments that might not be agreeable for them with new staff, new people who are strangers, new routines, and new doctors and other services. I have heard that care home residents sometimes do not survive such relocations for more than a few months, so precipitating the closure of a care home has to be very well thought-out.

So far as I am aware, care homes are registered with the CQC. If they fail to satisfy the inspectors on three out of the five qualifying criteria that they would normally be placed in special measures. Failure to improve over a defined period can lead to the withdrawal of the registration and closure. This is a very brief summary – the CQC website has detailed information on the procedures followed.

Local social services authorities should be periodically inspecting any homes into which they place their clients and should certainly be reacting responsibly to any complaints.

Unfortunately, in light of experiences my disabled partner and I endured, the CQC’s standards are pitifully low. In one situation, they marked supervision as ‘adequate’ when there had never been any! What records were they looking at if any? Are they scrutinising records as being genuine? One of the undercover reports states staff were keen to promote safety rather than finding out information about the potential resident. That’s because the CQCs inspections are paper, tick box exercises where the driving emphasis is on safety and dignity. My partner tried many homes for respite over many years and it’s a bleak story to the point I would rather work myself into the ground, than subject him to that again. No wonder he hated going! Unfortunately, he couldn’t talk so could never ascertain what the problems were other than what we could observe. What a sad indictment of modern times. On the other hand, my mother in law was in a fantastic place but I’m afraid that’s the exception rather than the rule – those places are like gold dust.

May I suggest more people in need of care look at the option of 24/7 care in their own homes, I’ve found this is cheaper than night sitters and local care homes and it offers companionship as well as care. The carers are able to drive and can take the cared for person out to events if a car is available and to see relatives – so much closer to the life that anyone would want for their dearest family. Unlike what others describe, there is no point at which the “home” can be closed either. Yes there has to be more than one carer but that is the case in care homes too and if relationships are not good then staff are changed. These services are also CQC rated.

D Claridge says:
21 January 2018

Some so called ‘care’ providers are evading inspection by not even registering with the CQC. That from the mouth of CQC’s chief inspector Andrea Sutcliffe at the last CQC board meeting . Go look on YouTube. People are left languishing in rotten ‘care’ home for months and months on end. CQC just tinker around the edges.

CQC only sit up when the likes of Panorama or Channel 4’s Dispatches expose these rotten homes. Then CQC wring their hands in public, Andrea writes a blog, polishes her hashtag the #mumtest and all is forgotten again in a few days.

There ARE too many failing care homes and poor residents sit rotting in them for too long !!

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I would also ask what sort of medical cover they have – how do they respond if someone is taken ill? Is cover provided by a local GP and how well has that surgery performed in terms of CQC and patient ratings. I would be keen to know how capable they are of managing care at the end of life. I am aware that a large number of older people arriving in AE from care homes die within hours of arrival – suggesting that handling the final stages of dying is too much for some, yet dying in the home would be a preference for most rather than a hospital trolley in AE.

Residents in a care home would normally be registered with a local GP. Nursing homes might employ medically qualified staff but residential care homes generally do not.

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The CQC website – which is well worth a look – says that inspections are generally undertaken without prior notice except in the case of small homes where, in order to avoid a wasted journey, a telephone call is made in the morning to check that the proprietor will be present.

The website explains in considerable detail how inspections are carried out. In my opinion they are extremely thorough and penetrating.

I could give you my long horror story of experiences of 5 people close to me in care homes, but I won’t. I also worked for a think tank which works in the care system. So – When it came to my own father, my husband and I gave up our jobs and home to move hundreds of miles away to take care of Dad ourselves for five years until his death. This is the best thing I ever did for him. I would not let ANY old person that I loved into ANY care home, no matter how terribly ill and frail the old person is. The care system will never change. It is for profit, staffed by people who, frankly, you would not trust to water your plants let alone take care of an older person with possibly complex medical problems in addition to frailty or dementia. There are so many regulations that smaller homes have been put out of business. The old council homes of the 1980s were no better – they were warehouses of death.

The hard truth is that the only way to make sure the older person gets loved and looked after is to do it yourself, even if you need to bring people in to assist you.

Susanne Sklar says:
19 January 2018

My mother is in America, living next door to my sister who has a business and works about 70 hours a week. Now our mother needs constant care and we’ve found two caregivers; the primary one has excellent training and experience. The other adores my mother and they are friends. This costs about 40% less than a decent care home; 30% less than a dreary one. Independent caregivers can be like human angels.

Gremlin says:
23 January 2018

Warehouses of death?
Actually, thinking about it, there was one not too far from where I lived. It had the reputation ‘once you go in there, you’ll not come out walking’.
As the vast majority of the people went in there because they had some illness that prevented them remaining in their own home it is hardly surprising they came out lying down. Young, healthy people do not go into care homes, so the death rate will always be high. The important thing is living life to the full, to the end and dying with dignity, surrounded by love and care.

The care of elderly and vulnerable people cannot and should not be left to private companies interested only in profit. As the collapse of Carrillion has further proved, cynical profiteering within our social- and healthcare services has merely expanded under a succession of lame governments. Shame on those who turn a blind eye to such abuse…

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Keeping people active and engaged is the challenge. Staff have so little time and do their best.
Exercise, fresh air, personal choices, continual learning.

[Sorry, your comment has been edited to align with our community guidelines – Just a reminder, it’s great to see you engaging in our discussion but we do not allow promotional content https://conversation.which.co.uk/commenting-guidelines/. Thanks, mods.]

i know the heartbreak that thousands go through every day , you all have my deepest sympathies ,i can say that at least you had a choice no matter how bad ,but imagine your loved one dying from cancer
has all their care taken away 4 months before that loved one passed away !
yes this indeed happened to my mum !the excuse was that she had stabalised !can you imagine that stabalised! yet very near death ,no palliative care ,no social care uncaring gps etc !i tried so hard to get her the help she was entitled to ,but non ever came my mum was looked after by the paramedics not the gps !it goes without saying the trauma caused me ptsd i could not believe they would not help her !or myself , i feed her with boots baby food and vitamin supplement drinks a true labour of love ! a sons duty to his mum !how many more have suffered thus ? that my mum was put on 2 vunerable adult referrals within 7 days of passing !the reasons given were neglect ,no care plan ,no gp input why ?this is the question that will always haunt me ,then to compound my grief i asked my mp if there was anything she could do and she passed mums case to the phso ,this organisation i have been in bitter struggle with for nigh on 7 years! my case closed down 5 times and reopened saying no maladmin not upheld! reviews a plenty! ,my conclusion to all this is gov and the phso are cover up merchants,they protect the establishment figures and their reputations against people like myself an honest citizen who served his country for 13 years ,i have lost all hope for any justice its a david and goliath struggle one against many ,many barristers ,solicitors ,all the nhs ,gmc,palliative care system,social care all were complicit in this crime and aiding and abetting the culprits covering it up! and that is what it was exactly, a crime! ,against my mums human rights ,w h o against her rights to die a dignified death, she did not !she died a very unpeaceful death why ? why was my mum and myself singled out this way? ,even the hospice were complicit that shocked me more than anything!,they never reintroduced palliative care saying she did not need it !can you believe that ! i am now at another review stage,but i know what the answer will be again not upheld no matter what evidence is submitted collusion is the word ,them against the common man ,the lords against the peasants ! i have written to the queen ,the princes
all came back with civilised answers !i have been to parliament twice over this case and even got my mum into the health committee stage but that was withdrawn at the last minute why ? all i have achieved and i have achieved plenty, my mums name is now known, she is no longer a stat or a number,even to the corridors of power ,that is an achievement! i am battling now for all who have suffered thus similar cases and discrimination against the elderly and the vunerable ,i loved my mum and the courage she showed in adversity i can only show the same for her now ! thank you for reading this article sorry so morbid, but this happened and i will never forgive or forget those that carried out this crime never !!
a tiny light surrounded by darkness !!!

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Stephen
I am so sorry to hear the trauma and distress your poor mother, you and your family are going through. No one can understand who has not faced it, lived it. The grief and terror are heart breaking enough but to be robbed of peace with your loved one in their final moments of life is truly unforgivable. You have no choice but to fight on – fight for care and fight for some justice/fairness but it should not be this way. My family were told my poor parent would have to undergo a CHC funding Review to ascertain whether they were still eligible for 100% CHC nursing care and they were being palliated (after a shocking forced discharge from hospital to free up their bed) and they were dying in their last few weeks of life. To be told by a CHC Review RGN that she would ‘ring back in a few weeks time to “see how they had got on”‘ (ie: had died) demonstrated to me without a doubt that the State/NHS had finally lost its humanity…. after years of a horrific dementia journey of numerous neglect and horrors within our wonderful NHS and the nursing care home system, this was the final indignity. I am thinking of you all…….. Z

Anthony says:
19 January 2018

My mother felt her care was so bad she decided to starve her self to death (on the third attempt). Care in the UK is a national disgrace and the CQC spend more energy covering up poor care that protecting our elderly. I would as far as to say what my mother experienced was criminal.

At the end of your working life, having spent a lifetime of paying TAX and defending this country’s elite. You can no longer be exploited, apart from taking your home. You have become a liability to which ever government is in power and of no further use (unlike Trident, illegal immigrants, members of the House of Lords entitled to £350+per day expense’s or say a leaking billion £ aircraft carrier) So I suppose I had better get use to the smell of urine and hope they don’t put me near the radiator.

They say “it’s no fun growing old” but I say ” it better than not growing old”

Agree with earlier posts. I am an unpaid carer for my husband who has Alzheimer’s Dementia. Both 73 years with no family. I just hope he does not outlive me, he could not live on his own and I dread the thought of him in a care home. Luckily I have a nursing background, and was trained when true care was paramount. Successive governments think all that is needed is to throw more money at the NHS. Social Care is the poor relative.
Unpaid carers save the country billions of pounds each year but they need support. The support budget of our Council has been cut yet again. The aim of the Council seems to be to have carers find out what support or legal benefits exists for their loved ones themselves without support. This may be possible for some, but however motivated one may be time and energy are needed.
Both Government and Councils are not looking to the long term, Councils just to balance the books and politicans to hang on to their jobs. A fundamental review and change of the NHS and Social Care needs to take place so that the services are run efficiently with the emphasis on care and not administration.

My late Father was put into a care home after my mother had a bad fall and broke her hip.
Has she was down has his main carer,(even though my brothers shared the care) the social workers put him into a home.
Dad never settled there and quickly went down hill regarding his health, he lost a lot of weight and was just skin and bone when he past away less that 6 months later.
We all feel ashamed that we where unable to get him back into his own home and that he had to spend his last few months in what must have a living hell .
The social workers should never have been given the power to overrule our fathers wishes and his family desire to continue to care for him.

I have always thought that elderly people should think about their own future. If you have a caring family or true friends you can trust you can secure yourself to a great extent by using power of attorney both for financial and end of life decisions. You can decide exactly how you wish be cared for and it is a legally binding document. It has certainly put my mind at rest, my children know exactly what my wishes are and it takes away any problematic decisions for them.

Alan says:
19 January 2018

I have been bombarded with this for over a year now several times a day and despite telling which on many occasions they continue with the harrasment they have even ignored the email from my legal team. This is now becoming a huge harrasment case and is still building so i would like to invite anybody else on here who is being targeted heavily by which to contact me and i can also help with yours. I didn’t think we would even have a case but apparently due to the extent of which’s harassment its going to be a rather successful one. So anybody who is a victim of this please reply and i will help you.

Hi Alan, thanks for your comment. We’re sorry to hear this, we’re happy to escalate your complaint and get this sorted for you. We wouldn’t normally send several emails a day and we do offer the option to unsubscribe to our emails too. Again I’m really sorry, but we’re looking into this.

There are some really good points here re: looking after a relative in your own home. I am so glad that I took our mother out of a very expensive care home – I had to fight to do so, even though she was a private paying person who had dementia, doubly incontinent and aged 96 yrs. 212 bruises in less than 6 months, a black eye and front teeth missing ! Criminal Investigation now at long last happening, but too late for our mother who passed away 6 months after coming to live with us. She died in my arms a happy person who had really enjoyed her last 6 months of life. I have no nursing experience at all, but did everything myself for her, to keep her clean, comfortable and a good healthy diet.
Don’t pay others, when most daughters can do all of the same as a care home and do it much better.

My parent died a horrific, long drawn out death from a neglected hip fracture having suffered from dementia and never recovered. Her old Home staff are either still working with demented people in the same Home or have moved on to other Homes. The CQC are unfit for purpose unable and unwilling to prosecute even with the new increased regulations/laws and the Police are rarely able to prosecute as the demented have no voice – the late stage demented cannot explain what horrors happened to them. You can’t find a decent dementia nursing home as they simply don’t exist. That is the truth. If you tell me that your friend, acquaintance or so and so had found a great home then unfortunately they have not scratched beneath the surface but sat happy for one hour a week without true hands on care for their loved ones. I saw it all in the years my parent was severely demented – family’s in perfect bliss contrary to all of the signs. You cannot give basic safe dementia nursing care on a budget. The Government must face this truth as dementia neglect cases are now increasing year on year. We need to return the nursing dementia care home sector back to the NHS and protect our most vulnerable of people. We must smash the old system and rebuild it again with new approaches. I am sorry that this is not what your readers want to hear but it is the truth. My advice: find a nursing home near to your own family and keep an eye on your loved one as close to 24 hours as possible including weekends and evenings which tend to have the most potential for neglectful care. CCTV and covert recording in your loved one’s room is a poor substitute for safe care but it is the nearest you can get. Maintain great watch over your loved one, take an interest in their Care Files, Plans, Weight Charts, Medication Charts Hydration and Nutrition Charts. Check their body regularly for bruising, bed sores, mouth thrush and all signs that poor care is taking place. PLAN FOR THE WORST AND HOPE FOR THE BEST.

My father was neglected on one ward (another ward was excellent) in a General Hospital, so what hope have we?

Knowing where to start telling my story had me attempting this 3 or 4 times. My story is about my mother who needed help when she was living on her own in a warden controlled bungalow. She started having falls and was put on a ‘falls’ register. After ending up in Hospital with a rather serious UTI she ended up in another village hospital where she was able to recover and with some fantastic staff she made a good recovery however we was told that she would benefit from going into a care home and best if she did not return home. What I didn’t realise was that my mother would have to agree to it, it was not something that I could do without her consent. A meeting was arranged with someone from Social services, myself and the ward sister. Reluctantly my mother agreed to visit a local care home where they had spaces and it was local. My mother was not happy but she signed on the dotted line and the day come to move her in to her new home. It was far from perfect and although the brochure said ‘You can bring your own furniture’ There was in fact no room for any extra furniture what so ever. The room was tiny at about 4m x 2m. Then things took a turn for the worse. She got another UTI and I discovered later that no record of what she was drinking etc was being made and in fact it was hard to find any staff during our visits. She ended up in Hospital again and it was whilst we was visiting mum in Hospital we was told by the ward Sister that the care home had paid her a visit and that they were no longer able to care for her. At this point the care home had said nothing to us at all. After contacting the home they confirmed that they felt they could no longer give mum the care she needed. So mum at the ripe old age of 90 was in fact homeless. By now i was being to understand how the system worked. Several weeks (maybe 6 or 8) I was contacted by Social services to attend a meeting at the Hospital. I was told that the lady had already had a meeting with mum and wanted to update me with her findings. The lady was not the easiest person to understand and I could tell my mum was very frustrated because she could not understand what was being said. After I calmed mum down I was told that I needed to find a care home for mum and was handed about 4 or 5 pieces of A4 paper with care home names, a list. My meeting was on a Monday. So I went back home and started looking online to see where some of these places were and what they were like. I had to work out for myself that mum needed a Nursing home as opposed to a care home. In other words a home with a regular nurse. So my list of places just got a lot smaller. My first home was what looked like a converted bungalow, at least thats what it looked like on the web page and sure enough when I visited it was indeed a converted bungalow with very little space. The ‘Day room’ with a circle of chairs was a conservatory where everyone was sat looking at each other across the room. The Manager who was showing me around simple barged into an elderly gentleman bedroom to show me the type of bedrooms. The place smelt very strongly and although I fully understand why a home might smell this was something special. I left and realised that this was not a place for anyone to live. Thursday the same week and I was doing visit number 2. This time it was a old converted School. I was taken into an office and after asking a few questions about mum the subject of cost came up. I had no information about costs and I had no idea what was expected. It basically worked out that the home has a weekly charge, the local authorities pay x amount and if there is a shortfall you (the family) are asked to ‘Top up’ to make the balance. I didn’t get a good feeling about care home number 2 and left. To my amazement I had a phone call on the way home from the Social worker to ask ‘What home had I found?’ Today was Thursday. I filled her in and was told that she would call again on Monday to let her know what care home I had decided upon. I felt under huge pressure at this point. I called AGE UK for some advice and I spoke to someone there who enlighten me as to what Social services should be doing and a few other tips. By now I had been told about CQC and started looking at care homes and then the CQC reports and this was invaluable. At the time some of the results were in fact shocking. There was one car home that I was being pressurised to put mum into but I was not happy with the report. The social worker was not happy and basically told me that I was taking too long. This same care home was closed down less than 1 year later and 71 residents were moved. Eventually I found a home but in another county and although the home was quite old and a little bit shabby the staff were amazing and so was the support that they gave. My mother lived to 92 and when i asked if she was happy she looked up and said yes I am. To this day I have strong feelings about the ‘System’ but it was clear that money was a much more important factor than anything else. I also noticed that nothing was joined up Hospital- Social Workers-Care Home. Each has their own set of criteria instead of one goal. There is not much difference between the needs of young children and the elderly and if our system treated children the same way as we treat our elderly there would be a public outcry.

Tanya says:
19 January 2018

Parents are not to be put in care homes… they spend their life caring, nurturing, protecting their children and even sacrificing their life only to attain old age and fall victim to care homes and ppl who have no or very little love for them.. this is shameful… at the end of their lives they should be honoured and repaid the never ending debt of raising their children but instead they are left to others who get paid for looking after them and are subjected to much cruelty and no dignity.. and please no one tell me it can’t be done coz there are many cultures who keep their parents at home, care and look after them until their soul leaves their body while being amongst their loved ones! Its about choice and sacrifice.

Beryl says:
20 January 2018

Tanya you are absolutely right in all you have said. That is why the government should give enough benefits to the person looking after someone instead of giving money to foreign countries.

Tanya
I would agree if you had all of your faculties in tact – if you had the disease of ‘old age’ and nothing more. However dementia is the death of a brain and slowly/or sometimes quickly, you eventually lose all of your functioning until there is nothing left but brain mush – literally. Caring for a mid stage onwards dementia/Alzheimer’s sufferer is therefore impossible to do at home unless you have people able to give help and cover literally 24 hours a day. A family home becomes an extremely dangerous place for a demented person.

Since dementia disease is now the biggest killer of women in the UK, it is likely that most people (females particularly) in full time care at the moment have this devastating disease. Unless you have full experience of dementia, please don’t make those families who have had to make the traumatic decision of placing their loved ones in full time care any more guilty. They have enough guilt to last a life time.

Stuart IAm-Pensioner Young says:
19 January 2018

We placed my mother in law into a beautiful care home, we were given a great spiel and believed that it would be ideal. On the first day she had a fall, we saw people urinating in the lounge, a resident in her bed, feaces in her bed, she was left in wet clothes for hours developing a grade three pressure sore. When we complained we were told by the owner that we were disruptive.
We sprung hr from this hell hole and placed her in a nursing home. What a inference, they weren’t perfect but whenever we had an issue it was always resolved immediately.
The CQC are absolutely rubbish and their inspections need to be done without giving homes to prepare for their visits

Care homes are just another fraud, aided and abetted by successive governments. I have been very fortunate that having had Polio at the age of three, I am now seventy five, I have been able to remain independent, despite being on my own now. When my time comes, I would rather take a pill that be subjected to the gross mistreatment that these institutions administer. I have, over the last few years, visited friends who have, sadly, ended their lives in one or other of these appalling, with one exception, money grabbing, “Don’t Care” homes. How they justify the incredulous sums that they charge, I cannot imagine. Maybe it stems from the fact that there are, apparently, in the region of one hundred and forty bodies, who frequent the House of Con-men and the House of Frauds, have a vested interested in Private Health Care.