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Elderly lady in care home

Care home forums: what you said

Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic we hosted regular online forums for relatives and friends of those living in care homes to tell us about the impact of visiting restrictions and ways they have been keeping in touch.

Those who attended these forums said that it helped to give them a voice and it was helpful to meet with other people in a similar situation. It was agreed that the group would continue to meet once every three months to discuss any issues or concerns. The minutes from the previous meetings and other useful information about care home visiting can be found below.

When the group last met on Tuesday 20 February, we discussed respite care, discharge from hospital and Enter and View.

Minutes from 20 February 2024

Care Home Online Forum – 20 February 2024

Minutes from 8 November 2023

Care Home Online Forum – 8 November 2023

Minutes from 27 July 2023

Care Home Online Forum – 27 July 2023

Minutes from 17 April 2023

Care Home Online Forum – 17 April 2023

Minutes from 9 January 2023

Care Home Online Forum – 9 January 2023

Minutes from 30 September 2022

Care Home Online Forum – 30 September 2022

Minutes from 9 May 2022

Care Home Online Forum – 9 May 2022

Minutes from 7 February 2022

Care Home Online Forum – 7 February 2022

Minutes from 8 November 2021

Care Home Online Forum – 8 November 2021

Care home visiting information

Read Essential Care Giver Myth-buster

 

The date of the next online care homes forum is to be confirmed. To register or leave feedback outside of the forum, please email Helen Brown: helenb@healthwatchnorthumberland.co.uk or call 03332 408 468.

Elderly lady in care home

Care homes forum 27 July 2023

Care homes forum Northumberland

Thursday 27 July, 10am – 11am via Zoom

Please join us for our next online forum for those with family or friends living in care homes in Northumberland.

Are you a relative of someone who lives in a care home, or have you recently helped a loved one access respite within a care home? Would you like support or information from others who have shared similar experiences? Come along to our next care homes forum to share your feedback or simply come along to find out more.

We will also give an update on our ‘look and listen’ visits into care homes.

To register for a space or give feedback outside the forum please email: info@healthwatchnorthumberland.co.uk or call us on 03332 408468.

See what we discussed at previous care home forums

Elderly lady in care home

Care homes online forum Jan 2023

Please join us for our next online care home forum on Monday 9 January, 10am – 11.30am via Zoom.

At our next forum we will be hearing from Alan Curry, Senior Manager – Commissioning Northumberland County Council who will be there to give us an overview on the current situation for Northumberland care homes including information and guidance around care home respite and planned hospital discharge into care homes and associated challenges.

We would also like to hear from you about your current experiences of visiting your loved ones in care homes and your experiences of accessing care home respite or care home placement following a planned discharge from hospital.

To register for a space or give feedback outside the forum please email: info@healthwatchnorthumberland.co.uk or call us on 03332 408468.

See what we discussed at previous care home forums

This event has now passed

Elderly lady in care home

Care homes online forum

Please join us for our next online care home forum on Friday 30 September, 11.30am – 12.30pm (not 19 September as previously advertised).

At our previous forums we have heard how visiting restrictions in care homes have affected people living there and their relatives, heard more recent experiences of visiting including as an ‘essential care giver’ and discussed ‘the things we wished we had known before our loved one moved into a care home’ to produce guidance to help others.

At our next forum we would like to hear your current experiences of visiting your loved ones and about how visits to the care home from professionals such as dentists, chiropodists and opticians are working.

We will also be starting to visit care homes to understand from a lay perspective how they are doing after the pandemic. Through talking to residents and carers we can get an insight into different aspects of the home, for example meals or activities and would like your advice to help shape this project.

To register for a space or to give feedback outside of the forum please email: info@healthwatchnorthumberland.co.uk or call us on 03332 408468.

Read what we discussed at previous care home forums

Things I wish I had known before my loved one went to live in a care home

Hearing feedback from relatives of those in care homes, we know that the process of moving into a care home can be a very isolating and upsetting time. There are many different emotional and practical aspects to consider.

Sometimes decisions and choices have to be made very quickly. Even when there is more time to plan, there can be smaller, unexpected issues that arise and make you think ‘I wish I had known this before my loved one went to live in a care home’.

This list was put together by people who attended our care homes forums in 2021 and 2022. It is a simple list of things to think about and comes from their experiences of having a loved one living in a care home.

There will be other things which we have not thought of and if you have more ideas and tips, please let us know and we will add them in.

Things to do

  • Provide more socks than you think will be needed – with recognisable patterns
  • Provide slippers – two pairs at least
  • Keep a supply of clothes at your home to top up/replace items as needed
  • Label everything – clothes and other items – with your loved one’s name. They may change rooms but not their name!
    – iron in labels for clothes and shoes in addition to the home’s own labelling
    – use indelible marker to write name or room number on TV remotes and ornaments
  • Check if you can you use your own bed linen and/or curtains
  • Ask if you can move in small items of furniture. A small side table that sits against a wall gives a nice focal point for ‘knick knacks’ without taking up space
  • Think about things that brighten a room immediately – pictures, trinkets, lamps, throws, cushions, but nothing too valuable or fragile in case of breakages/loss
  • Put a favourite picture of your loved one when they were younger in a prominent place
  • Buy a spare remote control for the TV
  • Think about a small Christmas tree and decorations. Ask family and friends to send cards directly to the person in the home so they feel part of the celebrations.
  • Supply games, picture books etc. to help with visits
  • Take scented drawer liners which add a nice touch to a room

Things to know

  • Labelling is very important but things will disappear, move around the home and reappear – both in and out of your loved ones room
  • Remember to say hello to other residents – you are in their home
  • Care home tea is usually very milky!
  • Care homes can be very warm – wear layers
  • Are meal times protected – is visiting not allowed at this time or can you visit to help your loved one eat?
  • Find out the arrangements for Christmas – are you able to visit or take your loved one out of the home?
  • Leaving your coat and handbag in the car or in the manager’s office, so that you can slip out, can make leaving after a visit less stressful for you and your loved one.
  • Does the home arrange ‘virtual’ visits – who does them and how is your loved one supported to interact with the call?
  • It might be reassuring to ask what a ‘typical day’ looks like for your loved one
  • Visiting can be upsetting so it can be an idea to have someone to talk to afterwards or have a relaxing activity planned

Get in touch

If you’d like to speak to us about your experiences of care homes, care home visiting, information about care homes in Northumberland, or would like to know more about our forums, please get in touch.

 

Download the list as a PDF

Care home visiting

Care home forum

We are holding another public online forum via Zoom for anyone who would like to share their recent experiences of visiting loved ones in care homes.

The forum will take place on Monday 7 February, from 10am to 11.30am.

At our previous forums we have heard how visiting restrictions in care homes have affected people living there and their relatives, people’s experiences of other ways of keeping in touch during Covid-19 and discussed things ‘we wish we had known’ when our loved ones moved into care homes to help us produce some future guidance to support others going through similar experiences.

Those who attended the previous forums said that it helped to give them a voice and it was helpful to meet with other people in a similar situation. It was agreed that the group would continue to meet once every three months to discuss any issues or concerns. The minutes from the last meeting can be found below.

Minutes from care home forum – 8 November 2021

We would like to hear from you about your recent experiences of visiting your loved ones in care homes in Northumberland, how you have kept in touch during any Covid-19 outbreaks and your experiences of visiting as an ‘essential care giver’.

We would also like to explore further ideas to shape our guidance to support others whose loved ones may be moving or have recently moved to a care home.

If you would like to register for our forum please contact Helen Brown by email: helenb@healthwatchnorthumberland.co.uk or call us on 03332 408468 (option 3). Once registered, we will send you the Zoom link before the event.

If you can’t make the forum but would like to tell us your story, or would rather speak to one of our team in confidence please get in touch.

Care home visiting

Care homes: keeping in touch with loved ones

We are holding another public online forum via Zoom for anyone who would like to share their current experiences of visiting loved ones in care homes.

At our previous forums we have heard from people whose loved ones live in care homes about the impact of visiting restrictions and ways they have been keeping in touch. We also ran a survey and heard from care home staff and relatives of those living in care homes. All feedback received has resulted in our recent care home report which has been welcomed by providers and commissioners.

The forum will take place on Monday 8 November, from 10am to 11.30am.

We also want to produce some information and guidance to support people whose loved ones may be moving to a care home and would appreciate your help and experience to develop this.

If you would like to register for our forum please contact Helen Brown by email: helenb@healthwatchnorthumberland.co.uk or call us on 03332 408468 (option 3). Once registered, we will send you the Zoom link before the event.

If you can’t make the forum but would like to tell us your story, or would rather speak to one of our team in confidence please get in touch.

Events

Young lady and elderly man in care home

Care Homes Online Forum

Please join us for our next online care homes forum on Tuesday 20 February, 10am – 11am via Zoom.

Are you a relative of someone who lives in a care home or has used respite in a care home? Would you like support or information from others who have shared similar experiences? Come along to our next care homes forum to find out more or to share your feedback on experiences.

To register for a space or give feedback outside the forum please email: info@healthwatchnorthumberland.co.uk or call us on 03332 408468.

See what we discussed at previous care homes forums

Elderly lady and man in care home

Care Homes Online Forum

Please join us for our next online care homes forum on Wednesday 8 November, 10am – 11am via Zoom.

We will be hearing from a Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspector who will be giving an overview of the CQC’s role in regulating and inspecting care homes. There will be a chance to ask questions.

We would also like to hear your feedback of visiting your loved ones in care homes and accessing care home respite or simply join us to get further support or information from people with shared experiences.

To register for a space or give feedback outside the forum please email: info@healthwatchnorthumberland.co.uk or call us on 03332 408468.

See what we discussed at previous care homes forums

Elderly lady in care home

Care Homes Online Forum

Please join us for our next online care homes forum on Thursday 27 July, 10am – 11am via Zoom.

Are you a relative of someone who lives in a care home, or have you recently helped a loved one access respite within a care home? Would you like support or information from others who have shared similar experiences? Come along to our next care homes forum to share your feedback or simply come along to find out more. We will also give an update on our ‘look and listen’ visits into care homes.

To register for a space or give feedback outside the forum please email: info@healthwatchnorthumberland.co.uk or call us on 03332 408468.

See what we discussed at previous care homes forums

Elderly lady in care home

Care Home Online Forum

Please join us for our next online care home forum on Monday 17 April, 10am – 11am via Zoom.

Following the discussion about respite care at the last meeting, Carers Northumberland will tell us about a survey it has done and what carers are saying about their experiences of respite care in the county. If you have had recent experience of this we’d like to hear from you.

We will also hear from the new Acute Admiral Nurse Service which provides specialist dementia support in care homes and the community in Northumberland.

We are starting a piece of work with a care home provider to learn from residents, loved ones and those who run and work in care homes what local lessons can be learnt from the pandemic and positive ideas that would help in other “lockdown” or restricted access situations.  We are at the early stages so come along and help us to shape what questions to ask and share examples of good practice you have experienced.

To register for a space or give feedback outside the forum please email: info@healthwatchnorthumberland.co.uk or call us on 03332 408468.

Elderly lady in care home

Care Home Online Forum

Please join us for our next online care home forum on Monday 9 January, 10am – 11.30am via Zoom.

At our next forum we will be hearing from Alan Curry, Senior Manager – Commissioning Northumberland County Council who will be there to give us an overview on the current situation for Northumberland care homes including information and guidance around care home respite and planned hospital discharge into care homes and associated challenges.

We would also like to hear from you about your current experiences of visiting your loved ones in care homes and your experiences of accessing care home respite or care home placement following a planned discharge from hospital.

To register for a space or give feedback outside the forum please email: info@healthwatchnorthumberland.co.uk or call us on 03332 408468.

Elderly lady in care home

Care Home Online Forum

Please join us for our next online care home forum on Friday 30 September, 11.30am – 12.30pm (not 19 September as previously advertised).

At our previous forums we have heard how visiting restrictions in care homes have affected people living there and their relatives, heard more recent experiences of visiting including as an ‘essential care giver’ and discussed ‘the things we wished we had known before our loved one moved into a care home’ to produce guidance to help others.

At our next forum we would like to hear your current experiences of visiting your loved ones and about how visits to the care home from professionals such as dentists, chiropodists and opticians are working.

We will also be starting to visit care homes to understand from a lay perspective how they are doing after the pandemic. Through talking to residents and carers we can get an insight into different aspects of the home, for example meals or activities and would like your advice to help shape this project.

To register for a space please email: info@healthwatchnorthumberland.co.uk or call us on 03332 408468.

Care Homes

Care Home Online Forum

Please join us for our next online care home forum on Monday 9 May, 10.30am-11.30am.

At our previous forums we have heard how visiting restrictions in care homes have affected people living there and their relatives, more recent experiences of visiting as an ‘essential care giver’ and discussed things ‘we wish we had known’ when our loved ones moved into care homes to help us produce some future guidance to support others.

At our next forum we will be joined by Alan Curry, Senior Manager – Commissioning Northumberland County Council who will try to answer any questions on Northumberland care home visiting alongside the current national guidance.

To register for a space please email: info@healthwatchnorthumberland.co.uk or call us on 03332 408468.

Care home visiting

Care Home Online Forum

At our previous forums we have heard how visiting restrictions in care homes have affected people living there and their relatives, people’s experiences of other ways of keeping in touch during Covid-19 and discussed things ‘we wish we had known’ when our loved ones moved into care homes to help us produce some future guidance to support others going through similar experiences.

Please join us at our next care home forum, via Zoom, on Monday 7 February at 10am. We would like to hear from you about your current experiences of visiting your loved ones in care homes in Northumberland, how you have kept in touch during any Covid-19 outbreaks and your experiences of visiting as an ‘essential care giver’.

We would also like to explore further ideas to shape our guidance to support others whose loved ones may be moving or have recently moved to a care home.

If you would like to register for a space or would like some further information about this forum please contact Helen Brown at: helenb@healthwatchnorthumberland.co.uk or call us on 03332 408468.

Care Homes – keeping in touch with loved ones (online forum)

At our previous forums we have heard from people whose loved ones live in care homes about the impact of visiting restrictions and ways they have been keeping in touch. We also ran a survey and heard from care home staff and relatives of those living in care homes. All feedback received has resulted in our recent care home report which has been welcomed by providers and commissioners. You can read the report here:
We would like you to join us at our next forum on Monday 8 November, 10am-11.30am to share your current experiences of visiting your loved ones. We also want to produce some information and guidance to support people whose loved ones may be moving to a care home and would love your help and experience to develop this.
If you would like to register for our forum please contact Helen Brown by email: helenb@healthwatchnorthumberland.co.uk or call us on 03332 408468 (option 3).
Once registered, we will send you the Zoom link before the event.
If you can’t make the forum but would like to tell us your story, or would rather speak to one of our team in confidence please get in touch.