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Moving your loved one from one care home to another: what steps should you take?

Moving your loved one from their current care home to a different care home can be stressful.

However, if your relative isn’t receiving adequate care, their current care home is shutting down, or the care home has raised their fees above your loved one’s budget, it may be in their best interests to move them into a different home.

We have put together this article to help you take the right steps.


Make a complaint to the current care home

If you haven’t already, raise any concerns or follow the complaint procedure with your loved one’s current home.

Often, care homes may be unaware of an issue, particularly if it is something based on an individual preference. If it’s something they can remedy, homes will often make every accommodation they can, especially if you mention that you are reviewing other care options.

If things improve and your issues and concerns are resolved, you may not need to move your relative after all, which may save a lot of stress, hassle, and possible confusion and upset for your loved one.

Note: this may not be applicable in every situation e.g. if your loved one’s care home is closing down.


Re-evaluating your loved one’s needs

The first thing you should do when considering a move to a different care home is to re-evaluate your loved one’s care requirements with a care needs assessment.

If their condition has deteriorated while in their current care home, or they have been diagnosed with different ailments or health conditions, the original assessment may not be up to date.

It’s vital that you consider whether your loved one’s circumstances have changed and whether any additional care needs need to be catered for.


Finding a care home that fits

Once your loved one’s needs have been re-assessed, you can start searching for a new care home if you haven’t got one in mind already.

It’s important to research the homes and consider the following before the move:

  • Whether the home can cater to your loved one’s care needs effectively
  • The staff to resident ratio, and how many of those staff are permanent. A lack of continuity may stem from a high ratio of agency staff being used.
  • Whether the care home suits their tastes and personality. How confident are you that they will be happy there?
  • Whether the care home is close by so you can visit – your loved one may feel confused or concerned if you aren’t able to visit as often
  • What is the policy for visitors? – Can you pop along any time you like? Are there specific visiting hours? Or do you have to make an appointment?

To make your search easier, you can use a search engine such as our Carehome Finder platform, to find the perfect care home near you in just a few clicks!

In other cases, looking at care home reviews or asking for referrals from people who have moved their relatives to a different care home is also a great place to start.


Reviewing your contract

Depending on whether your loved one’s care is self-funded or council-funded, the steps of cancelling your contract will differ.

If your relative’s care is self-funded, it’s important to review the terms and conditions of the contract to find out:

  • If there are any specific steps to cancelling the contract
  • Whether there is a notice period for termination of the contract; and if so, how long this notice period is
  • Whether any other parties need to be involved in the decision, like Social Services

If your loved one’s care has been organised by their local authority, then the process may be more complex, as the contract will have been made between the council and the care home. If you are in this situation, you can contact your local council for advice and guidance on how you should proceed. They would also provide the reassessment of care needs.

More so than self-funded care, Social Services will be involved in deciding whether a move is in your loved one’s best interests.

If you have serious complaints about the current care home’s ability to provide care, or processes at the home that have caused serious issues with your loved one’s health and wellbeing, you can present this information and evidence you have to Social Services to prove that a move is in their best interests. You can also report concerns to the Care Quality Commission or raise a safeguarding alert with your local authority.

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