Shrinking care home capacity makes itself felt
Research by Which? has found that almost half of people (48%) who had arranged care for themselves or a loved one said there weren’t any places in at least one of the local care homes they considered.
The Which? survey asked people who had arranged care for themselves or a loved one in the past 12 months to share their experiences of the care sector and found that a lack of good local places meant many people were staying in, or moving loved ones into, care homes they weren’t satisfied with, with almost one in five people (17%) saying they settled for a care home they had reservations about.
A similar number (16%) ended up opting for a home away from friends and family. Commenting on the Which? research, Alzheimer’s Society senior policy officer Dominic Carter said the findings echoed what the society heard regularly through its helpline.
“Time and again we are called by families of people with dementia who’ve been refused places at care homes because their needs are ‘too complex’,” said Mr Carter.
“Even worse, we hear of people with dementia in care homes handed four-week eviction notices – one woman told us her husband was shown the door after seven weeks at a care home because he was viewed as ‘challenging and the manager did not have enough staff available to provide the one-to-one support he needed’.
“While it could be easy to scapegoat care homes, we know they are finding themselves between a rock and a hard place. They can’t sustain their businesses if local authorities don’t have big enough budgets to cover the care home’s costs. The only way to give people with dementia the care, security and reassurance they deserve is for the Government to inject more money into social care.”