Page 60 - North Hampshire Lifestyle Nov/Dec 2019
P. 60

                choosing a care home
By Professor June Andrews. Her latest book is due out next year: ‘Care Homes: The One Stop Guide: When, Why and How to Choose a Care Home’
Here is a brief overview of the content...
‘Choosing a care home is one of the more emotional and expensive decisions that anyone ever makes. Your commitment usually amounts to tens of thousands of pounds, and will continue for an unpredictable time, perhaps years. It may never have crossed your mind to prepare for it. You may not have previously discussed what everyone, including the person going into the home, would like to happen when the day comes. You are probably doing this without experience, under time pressure, and in an emotional whirlwind, while adjusting to illness or loss
of capacity in a loved one. You might be reeling from the death
of one parent, while having to decide how to care for the other. You may have difficulty getting other family members to agree to your choices and feel judged by others - neighbours and friends and even the relative you are supporting - for what you eventually decide to do. Sometimes you had promised that you would never allow it to happen, but circumstances are against you.
We might not like to contemplate it, but half a million of us are in care homes at any time, so the chance that you or someone you love or care for will need this is high. If you’re prepared, you can make the best of it. In many cases, the resident has a really good time with kind, caring and knowledgeable friends. A good care home is a reward for a life well spent, and providing that care is a joy for the people who do it well. You want to avoid the pitfalls.
Time to veg out!
You may be surprised to learn that there’s a charity for older vegetarians and vegans!
Vegetarians for Life (VfL) was established in 2008 to promote that no-one should be forced to give up on their dietary preferences (or needs) just because they are older or go in to care.
Pemberley House Care Home, operated by Avery Healthcare, is a proud member of VfL’s directory, a 1,300 strong list of veggie- friendly organisations in the UK. Even as a recent member,
the company has been nominated in VfL’s 2019 Awards for Excellence in Vegetarian Care Catering, with the finals in London in October.
Amanda Woodvine, VfL Chief Executive, commented “Approaching half a million people over 65 now live in care homes, and the number of vegetarians and vegans has trebled in five years. They and their families have understandable concerns that their dietary needs and preferences can be met, with food prepared separately to meat products, and a variety every day from a chef who takes the time to understand their needs.”
Pemberley House chefs provide first-class vegetarian and vegan options, which take into account religious and cultural dietary needs as well as resident dining preferences and awareness; many find it a lighter option to eat vegetarian, whilst others
see the current topic around whether we should reduce our dependency upon meat and move towards a more vegetarian diet to support planet resource sustainability.
I’ve been working on this for many
years, as a nurse, a manager, and on
the board of a charitable care home. I
wrote the Dementia the One Stop Guide
which people said was really useful. I
work with people who are trying very
hard to make care homes the best they
can be. So, my new book that I’ve just sent to the publisher contains advice from experience about avoiding and then eventually choosing a care home. It will hopefully help others.’
You may also find that another publication by June ‘When Someone You Know has Dementia: Practical Advice for Families and Caregivers’ offers lots of practical advice. Financial issues, care homes and coping in general are covered in depth.
Pemberley House is situated to the south of Basingstoke, a
short walk from the War Memorial Park. Delivering the highest standards in care and senior well-being, there are no joining fees, it’s all-inclusive no matter how much care you need, rooms come fully furnished and there are sunny landscaped gardens to the rear.
For more, call 01256 632000 or search ‘Pemberley House Care’ online or on Facebook.

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