Some problems are common to both private residential and private nursing homes so a lot of thought and guidance is needed before any decisions are made. The first problem is funding. For most elderly people the cost is now borne by their local social services department. Their care manager will obviously be looking for value for money and is only allowed to use a certain number of known and registered homes, which keep their prices reasonable.
If the client has assets, they will be expected to pay the full rate themselves until their capital falls to such a level that the social services will step in. Some carers are so desperate to find a home that they will meet the difference themselves, only to find that as the rates go up, as they invariably do, they can no longer meet the difference, and their relative has to leave. All these financial considerations have to be sorted out before the person moves in, especially if help is needed from the local authority. Many homes require a month’s money in advance and some do not refund any should the client leave or die in this time.
The location of the home can be another problem. Many carers choose the private sector partly for the convenience of having a family member nearer to make visiting easier. Many old people still live in inner cities whilst their children have moved out to the suburbs or the country. For most old people the move out of their home is traumatic enough, but for many they have to move considerable distances either to be nearer relatives or simply to an area where the weekly costs are affordable. Circumstances change and sometimes carers have to move because of business commitments, leaving the person stranded in a totally new environment.