The decision to move into a care home, either for yourself or to assist a loved one in transitioning to residential care, often arises unexpectedly. It might be prompted by an incident at home or following a long-overdue visit to an elderly parent, where you come to the realization that they struggle to cope independently.

Even if you’ve been contemplating the idea for a while or have read about care homes in the news, it’s common to have limited or no understanding of how the process works. This lack of knowledge can be overwhelming, especially if you find yourself needing to take swift action to ensure your loved one receives the necessary care and support.

To help you navigate this situation, we’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions, covering topics from the definition of a care home to whether your local council will assist with the associated costs. For more in-depth information on any specific topic, simply click the ‘read more’ link provided under each question.

What is the difference between a residential care home and a nursing home?

The main difference between a residential home and a nursing home is that a nursing home has a qualified nurse on-site 24-hours a day to provide necessary medical care. 

When should someone move into a care home?

Moving into a care home may be the best option if the person is struggling to live alone and manage day to day, even if they get help from family, friends and paid care workers. They may not eat properly or have an increasing number of falls. In Any case we would undertake a full assesment to establish their needs and how best to support them.

How do you know if a care home is good?

The best way to check if a care home is good is reading reviews from residents and their families. You can also check the care home’s inspection reports from its regulatory body. In the case of Horsfall House this is the CQC.

Who regulates care homes in the UK?

We are regulated by The Care Quality Commission (CQC).

What are your fees?

Please visit our fees page to download your copy of our fees sheet.

When are visiting times?

Visiting can be at any time of the day or night. Our reception is covered Monday – Sunday, 9am–5pm in the week, and 8am–4pm at the weekend; Bank holidays (with the exception of Christmas Day) are covered from 10am–2pm.  Visiting outside of these times is still welcome, but please ring the bell on the entrance wall and wait to be let in.

Can residents receive phone calls?

Phone calls can be taken at any time of the day or night, please select the option for the department you wish to speak to. Please be aware that it may be difficult for the Nurses to answer the phone at busier periods such as when medication is being given.

When are mealtimes?

Mealtimes are as follows, breakfast from 8am, lunch is at 12.30pm and the evening meal is at 5pm, with drinks, snacks and lights refreshments available 24 hours a day. The menus are handed out in advance for catering needs. Residents can change their minds on the day or request an alternative if what is being offered is not of choice. We cater for all food textures and dietary requirements.

If you wish to sit and have a meal with your loved one, please ask at reception and this can be ordered for you. The weekly menu selection is available on reception. There is a small charge to cover the costs of the meal. Please order before 10am on the day or in advance.

There are also kitchenettes on each unit are available for drinks for both visitors and residents. Please ask a member of staff if you are unsure where things are or how to use the water boilers.

What personal services are in place?

We have access to a chiropodist, optician, and hairdresser, as well as an emergency dentist, who all visit Horsfall House on a regular basis. You are welcome to continue to use your own personal services or book ours.

Newspapers can be arranged through reception. This will be at a separate charge to the fees.

Multiple activities are booked and arranged throughout the year; these are at no additional charge. We have an activities team of 4 that support both units throughout the week with activities and 1:1 visits.

If possible, we would like to request that all of our residents register with Minchinhampton Surgery. The doctor will come to the home at any time we request, and visit / telephone call every other week.

If we need urgent clinical assistance, we can contact Rapid Response who can attend when possible and can administer fluids and antibiotics, they will take bloods and continue to visit until happy with the outcome. This is a very helpful service as it enables residents to stay here and avoid admission to hospital.

What can go in to a residents room?

Every resident’s room is their own space. We do spend time making the room clean and fresh to use, including paintwork, carpets, and curtains. Bedding and towels are supplied by Horsfall House, and the resident can choose blankets, sheets, and/or duvet for the bed. If pieces of own furniture are wanted, please discuss with the Manager so that we can make space or manoeuvre our furnishings.

We welcome pictures, knickknacks, ornaments, photographs, radios, laptops, iPads, smart speakers to make the room feel homely. Our maintenance team can put up any pictures safely and test any electrical items being used, please speak to the Unit Manager and they can organise this.

All seating, beds, and mattresses will be set up to meet each individual’s needs as well as any call bells or monitoring equipment that is required.

Telephone lines will need to be managed by yourself and organised directly with the phone line provider. We supply the phone line point. We have secure Wi-Fi access around the home for any device, please speak to a member of the team for the password.

What support is on offer if my loved needs to attend an appointment?

We are fortunate to have two minibuses and a pool car. While we would always appreciate your assistance with residents attending appointments, we understand this is not always possible, at which point we can assist with transport and provide a carer (at an additional cost). If the resident requires a wheelchair for attending appointments this will need to be arranged between the Day Centre opening hours (8.30am – 3.30pm), as the minibuses are used daily for this.

How does admission work?

Before admission, you will need to meet with our Finance Manager for a financial assessment; once this is completed, we will issue you with a contract that needs to be signed by your loved one or a family member (depending on capacity).

On or prior to admission, please provide any Power of Attorney paperwork, Respect documents, district nurse/ homecare notes, other professional contact details, and at least two weeks’ supply of medication in original boxes. Please note that we will have approached the respective surgery for a medical summary in advance. If the resident has medical equipment, e.g. Oxygen, a nebuliser, then please discuss with the Manager for relocating/installing.

We use a digital system (Person Centred Software) to produce a care plan for each of our residents. Relatives can access the online care package to see what care your loved one has received and what activities they have taken part in. Please speak to the Unit Manager who will set you up.

If the resident has any dietary requirements or allergies, please inform us on arrival or at the point of assessment so we can cater for their needs.

Please provide your own toiletries. We do have our own laundry but we ask for clothes to be named using marker pen or labels. Please try to avoid pure wool items, as we cannot always monitor once in a laundry bag. Alternatively, these special items can be taken home to be laundered.

Continence pads are to be supplied until the point that an assessment has been completed and accepted, which can take up to six weeks. The resident will then be allocated 4 pads per 24 hours. Delivery is every 2 months. If the resident qualifies, a change of address is required for the delivery.

If your loved one becomes unwell and requires palliative care, you are welcome to come in, stay as long as you wish, and we will make you as comfortable as possible. Please ask for refreshments and meals.

On admission we can support you to fill in an application form for Funded Nursing Care (FNC) or Continuing Health Care (CHC). The average wait time for an assessment is 6-9 months; this will then be back-dated to the application date. If you are funding the care privately, please check your family member receives the Full rate of Attendance Allowance as they have now moved into full-time care.

Our medication is ordered and supplied by Boots, delivered here once a month. If the resident wishes to self-medicate, please speak to the Unit Manager as we have lockable cabinets and require a self-administration form to be completed.

Baths and Wet rooms are available, and the resident can be supported with using these as often as requested.

What about children and pets?

Pets on a lead and young children are always welcome and encouraged as they contribute a lot to Horsfall House.

I feel unwell can I still visit?

If you feel unwell or show any signs of infectious disease, including the common cold, COVID-19, gastroenteritis, flu, etc., then we do ask that you arrange your visit for another time until you feel better and are no longer infectious. If you become unwell whilst at Horsfall House, then we ask that you leave immediately and then phone through to let a member of staff know.

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