Moving home is an important decision at any time of life. The following tips may be helpful if you, or someone you care for, is an older person with diabetes considering a move to a residential care setting.
Before you visit any care provider it is always helpful if you, or someone you trust can do some research. Take a look at things like:
- The Care Quality Commission report for the service.
- If the service is approved by the local council.
- What other people think about the provider.
- What level of care service is provided, eg will you need nursing provision?
- If the location and surroundings seem right for you.
- If the service suits your cultural needs.
Visiting at different times of the day, or staying for a few days to get the ’feel’ of the place is always a good idea. Speak to different members of staff, other residents and relatives, take notice of the decor and cleanliness, room sizes and facilities, food options and meal times. Look to see what activities are going on and how staff behave with residents and each other.
Ask about bringing your own furniture or possessions, whether guests can stay overnight or visit at any time, and how much choice and freedom you will have to live life the way you enjoy it.
There are some questions you could ask which might help to give you a better idea of how the care home can meet your diabetes needs:
- Are staff experienced in caring for people with your type of diabetes and what diabetes training have they had?
- Have staff had training in nutrition, exercise/activity benefits and mental health for older people with diabetes?
- Is there a member of staff who is responsible for diabetes care in the home?
- Does the care home have a written diabetes policy?
- Are staff able to support you with blood glucose monitoring or insulin administration, if this is something you require or may require, in future?
- Is there a system to support accurate self-medication?
- Do residents with diabetes have written diabetes care plans?
- Do residents with diabetes have an annual diabetes review?
- How will food options fit with your likes, preferences and diabetes needs? Is there support to keep active and exercise?
- How are hypos managed? Is there a written policy for hypo management and prevention?
- Is there a GP responsible for the home or can you choose your GP or keep your existing GP?
- Is there access to a Diabetes Specialist Nurse?
- Is there a podiatrist/chiropodist who visits or access to a foot care team?
- Is there access to eye screening?
- Is there access to a dietician?
- What support is there to attend hospital appointments?