When is the right time for someone to go into care?

Category: Dementia, Elderly Law, Mental Capacity

This seems like such a simple question, but the answer to it is highly complex. Each person who may need to go into care is unique, and their circumstances are as unique as they are. Therefore, each person must have their own circumstances considered as an individual.

The Person’s Wishes

The wishes of the person are a very important part of this decision. Many people have a history of knowing or visiting somebody in a care home and forming a view that either care homes are nice places or horrible places. The family of a person with dementia will also have a view around care homes as well as domiciliary care and whether each of them works successfully.

As well as considering whether somebody should go into a care home, the other options need to be considered. An alternative option to a care home is as a carer home. With this, you can include either:

  • a package of care
  • a live-in carer
  • assisted living in an independent unit within a community

Some of these options will be financially driven as not everyone can afford to pay for a live-in carer themselves. Especially, if this package of care is not available to be funded either by the NHS or local authority.

Types Of Care Home

The location, and what type of care home it is, should also be considered. Care homes generally have a specialism, which will inform the kind of care that it is provided. If a care home is one of the options under consideration, the appropriate kind of home needs to be considered. In addition, it is worth checking the home policies, such as how frequently visitors are allowed, and within what timeframes.

Every person will have unique things that are important to them and therefore it is worth discussing with the care home how they would manage these important things.

  • If the person with dementia is a smoker, is that smoking facilitated and how would this be done?
  • If they own a pet, is the pet allowed to come into the home and live with them or not, and if it’s not allowed to come into the home, come the pet visit and who would look after in the meantime?
  • As well as considering how the person will have their physical health looked after -that they will be washed and dressed and fed, it’s also important to consider how their social and spiritual needs can be met both inside and outside of the care home. How easy is it for a family member to visit, and take their loved one out for the day or just for a couple of hours?

Future Considerations

When people are young, they generally don’t wish in their old age to become ill and infirm and live in a care home, but sometimes it becomes necessary. Some people enjoy the social interaction of living with others, where as some value the independence of living in their own home. Sometimes it it is a question of whether it is impossible to stay at home. At other times, rather than one option being the best, it may be a question of which is the least worst option.

The answer to the question is tricky and will always be relevant to the circumstances of that person as there is no one definitive answer. If you need any advice about planning for this, please contact Hilary Cragg at Nash & Co.


Direct Phone: 01752 827047

E-mail: [email protected]

For other information surrounding Elderly Law: https://nash.co.uk/personal/elderly-law/