By Heather Hill, Lead Nursing Specialist at Heather Hill Pathways.
We recently had a family contact us when the nursing home their father was staying at had moved him from his single room to a shared room with another resident. The nursing home had told the family at the time that their father’s care needs were too high for him to be left alone and that they needed him in a shared room where there would be extra supervision available. Their father was not happy with the move. He wanted his space and privacy back. The family were not happy with the move. They had paid the $350,000 refundable accommodation deposit for a single room not a shared room. And to add insult to injury the nursing home had also put their father’s furniture into storage as there wasn’t room for it in his new shared room.
When the family raised their concerns with the nursing home they were told that they would move him back to a single room when one became available but said it would probably take at least twelve months before a similar room was available again. The family were understandably very unhappy. During our first sit down with the family we asked them why they originally selected that nursing home when their father first moved into aged care. They said their father was adamant about selecting that particular nursing home based on what he had heard from friends but now he didn’t care where he was so long as his family could still visit and he got his space and privacy back.
We then worked with the family to identify other suitable nursing homes with single rooms and higher staffing ratios so that their father would never need to be relocated even if his care needs later increased. We then advocated for and managed the transition of the father to a room at another nursing home which had higher staffing ratio’s and was located in between the family’s home and work so they could visit their father more easily. This new room included a private ensuite and was much larger than his previous room, it fitted all of his furniture. Their father is now a very happy man, with new friends, more family visits and a massive window overlooking the facility’s beautiful sprawling gardens which he enjoys looking out every morning. In short a very happy father and a very happy family.
Whilst we always recommend attempting to work out care and accommodation issues with your existing nursing home; sometimes a move is needed and you’d be surprised how easy it is to move from one nursing home to another. We would recommend don’t ever settle for second best when it comes to your loved one’s home.