Nursing Care FAQ from Bristol Care Homes

Moving your loved one into a care or nursing home, or finding good nursing care is never easy, and we understand that you may have a lot of questions that you want to be answered before making any decisions. In Bristol, finding the best care for your loved one has never been easier, we have four homes throughout Bristol offering nursing care that can be tailored to your loved one’s social, physical and mental needs and requirements.

Please find below other most frequently asked questions regarding nursing care. If you have any more questions or would like further information, please do not hesitate to contact a member of our team or one of our Nursing Home Managers.

What is a Residential Nursing Home?

A Residential home offers care for people who are no longer able to live independently and who don’t have major medical needs that require nursing care. Residential care offers a safe environment and support with day-to-day living needs, such as help with washing and dressing, meals as well as lots of social interaction with the other residents and carers.

A Residential Nursing Home’s purpose is to provide full-time accommodation, meals and personal care for those who are starting to or are finding it difficult to cope at home on their own. This gives peace of mind to them and their relatives that there is 24-hour support for them if they need it. Good residential nursing homes will feel like a home from home environment where residents feel part of a family or community, with the added benefit of 24-hour support if they need it.

They will offer excellent and varied meals and snacks where residents can eat together and have lots of social interaction with the residents and carers who look after them. There will be communal lounges for them to sit and relax in with their friends, or they can spend time in their own room if they want some individual time. There will be varied social activities for them to take part in if they want to and these can include, arts and crafts, singing, exercise, games, quizzes, day trips out and much more. They will have lovely gardens for the residents to spend time in and can even help with the gardening if they want to.

Living on your own can be lonely and if you are struggling to get out and about yourself then a residential nursing home gives you lots of social interaction and companionship which a lot of people miss as they get older.

Should I be looking at ‘nursing homes’ or ‘residential homes’?

It can be confusing which type of home you would need for yourself or a loved one. Both offer a ‘residential’ setting and the term, ‘care home’ can be applied to both types of settings.

In summary, a residential home offers 24-hour support with day to day living as well as meals and companionship compared to a nursing home which offers all of this, as well as 24 hour registered nurses who can care for residents with more complex medical needs. Often people choose to move straight into a nursing home so there is no requirement for them to move again if their health declines as this can be really unsettling and stressful for them. There is no official test to assess whether you would need a nursing home over a residential nursing home but if you contact them they will be able to help with your decision depending on yours or your loved one’s needs.

Bristol Care Homes offers residential, nursing and dementia care across their four homes and we will support you with any decisions you need to make to choose the right one for yourself or your family member. We have nurses on duty in each of our nursing homes 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

What happens if my loved one’s requirements change?

Every individual’s needs are different when it comes to medical, physical, emotional and even social needs and in every registered home in the UK, each resident has to have their own care plan which is tailored around their specific needs. Care plans should be reviewed regularly and adapted quickly as their needs change.
Bristol Care Homes offer residential, nursing and dementia care which enables us to change the care we provide quickly if yours or your loved ones needs change. Our nurses review our resident’s care plans regularly to ensure they are always tailored to their needs.

What do nursing care fees cover?

A nursing home’s fees will vary depending on the level of care a resident needs. The core fees cover the accommodation, snacks and meals, help with dressing, washing and 24-hour carer support if it is ever needed. Additional costs will cover the nursing element of the care needed so is very much dependent on the level of medical needed by the individual as to how much it will cost.

There is financial support available for Residential Care and Nursing Home Placements from your local council and you can find out everything you need to know about this in our, ‘How to Pay for Residential Care and Nursing Home Placements’ here.

Who can benefit from nursing care?

An individual needing Nursing Care may have suffered a stroke, have physical disabilities or medical conditions which now need a nurse to support. Nursing homes offering nursing care must have qualified nursing staff on duty 24-hours a day, 365 days a year. Anyone who needs nursing care will have an individual plan which has been produced in line with their physical, social and medical needs and it will be reviewed with them and their family members to ensure it is adequate before the care starts.

Nursing care for short term stay or respite patients

Respite is a short-term arrangement and can be arranged or put in place to either support someone who needs to recover after being in the hospital, or it gives carers a break for themselves. Caring for someone you love 24/7 is extremely demanding and tiring so respite is a must to ensure they remain well enough to look after themselves and the person they care for.

The term respite can also be used when someone is going into a care or nursing home for a short period of time to check it is right for them before they fully commit to it as a long term and permanent living solution.

Does a nursing home cater for people living with dementia?

If you or a loved one has been suffering from dementia then you will understand that it often worsens as time goes by and sometimes this change can be very quick. It is extremely difficult caring for someone with dementia both mentally and physically as they suffer from short term memory loss, confusion, lack of confidence and often quick changes in their emotions, and it really is a 24-hour responsibility. Often it will come to a point when the person needs more specialist care in an environment that is safe and secure for them with a team of specialist dementia nurses and carers.

Respite is always a good idea to give the carer some time away so they can recoup and look after their own health and quite often this results in them thinking about full time, residential dementia care for their loved one and if this is a better and kinder option for them.

Bristol Care Homes offer personal dementia care at their homes in Bristol. Each of our homes offers different types of specialist care which we can guide you through to help you decide which one will be the best one for you or your loved one.

We have specialist Dementia Carers and Nurses at Glebe House in Almondsbury who understand the physical and mental needs of anyone suffering from dementia and how their needs will change as their condition progresses.

We are really proud that in 2012 Glebe House opened their state of the art dementia care unit which took the latest research into the needs of dementia patients in both their care and surroundings. Our 13 specially designed and equipped rooms include colour schemes and designs based on the findings of dementia research by the University of Stirling. The research discovered how colour choices for carpets and soft furnishing can have a really calming effect and be helpful for residents living with dementia. We also ensure that our homes offer residents with dementia safe and enjoyable access to our gardens which is known to be a huge and important part of their care and wellbeing.

Nursing CareHow often can I visit my loved one in a nursing home?

Visiting your loved one in a care home shouldn’t be restricted to any day of the week, however, there are currently a lot of COVID restrictions in regards to visiting which keep your loved ones safe.

In normal circumstances, you would be able to visit your family member or loved one and spend time with them in their own room or in the communal areas and garden, whichever suits you.

Outside of current COVID restrictions and working practices you are welcome to visit any time of the day and any day of the week. Often  homes encourage their visitors to eat with family members and at Bristol Care Homes we have our own tea and coffee making facilities which allows residents to retain their independence and welcome their guests when they come to visit them. If a loved one or family member is fit and well enough then we encourage you to take them out for days trips, walks or to your own house for meals and get-togethers so you retain your closeness and bonds.

Is there a minimum age for residents?

Residents at Bristol Care Homes tend to be 60 years or over, however, there is no age restriction and we offer support for anyone needing palliative, respite or nursing care so contact us to discuss.

If you are fit and well but you want more social interaction and to know there is support available to you if you need it then our Assisted Living Apartments at our Fishponds location have the best of both worlds. You retain your independence and live in your own beautiful apartment, whilst having the knowledge and peace of mind that help and support is available to you 24 hours if, and whenever you need it.

Will my loved one be safe in a nursing home?

All of our Bristol Care Homes have secure door entry systems and CCTV cameras protecting and securing entry and exits points.

A high proportion of our teams at Bristol Care Homes have long-standing service with us and lots of the team, both administrative and carers have been with us for many years. This and the care we provide results in all our homes having a family feel for both residents and staff. We have a strict recruitment and selection process and all team members are required to undertake and be checked by the “Enhanced Disclosure & Barring Service” (DBS) as well as thorough reference checks. All of this and our secure homes ensure we can keep you or your loved ones safe and secure.

How do you recruit staff providing care in your homes?

We are very selective when it comes to recruiting new team members for our homes. Not only do they have to have the right skills, experience and qualifications but they also need to have the right personality and character fit. We also only interview anyone who has the care background and experience we are looking for.

The initial interview stage is to find out about their skills, experience and qualifications and to get to know them to see if we feel they will fit with our teams and our ethos of providing exceptional care within our homes. If they pass this stage then they go through a vigorous background check, references are obtained and contacted, identities are checked, and an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check is conducted.

All successful candidates then go through an induction process which includes training, shadowing with an experienced staff member and assessment before they are signed off to care for anyone without supervision.

What are the differences between “acute nursing” and “primary nursing”?

Acute and primary care should be categorised into primary, secondary, and tertiary.

Acute nursing care doesn’t apply to the level of care but refers to the sudden onset of the patient’s condition, as well as the length of the care provided. Acute care is a subset of primary, secondary and tertiary. This means that acute nursing can be provided in primary settings including retail health clinics and outpatient clinics for common conditions which are non-life-threatening illnesses and minor injuries.

Acute nursing care can also be referred to for the intensive care provided in accident & emergency, ICU departments to patients who have suffered severe heart attacks or a life-threatening allergic reaction as examples.

Primary Care is a service which you access directly including General Practitioners (GPs), Health Visitors, Dentists and Opticians. Primary’s aim is to be the first point of contact in the healthcare system and you are subsequently referred to other areas of the NHS including hospital (secondary) if needed. Primary providers are normally a patient’s first point of contact when they have a medical concern. The relationship between patient and provider tends to be much longer-term compared to secondary and tertiary settings. Primary care providers like your GP often follow a patient’s journey for a long period of time and over years.

Primary includes health promotion, disease prevention, health maintenance, counselling, patient education, diagnosis and treatment of acute and chronic illnesses in a variety of health settings (inpatient, critical, long-term, home, daycare, residential)

Secondary Care are the services you are referred to if you need to be seen by a specialist who has specific and specialist knowledge in the area you have concerns with. This can be mental or physical conditions. To access secondary you need a referral from a primary practitioner. Secondary is given in specialist Nursing homes for residents who have medical, mental and physical needs including dementia care.

Tertiary Care is referred to as specialist and the services tend to be used for rare and complex conditions or illnesses. Tertiary includes specialist hospitals including; Great Ormond Street, Alder Hey and Bristol Children’s hospital. To access tertiary you would need a referral from a secondary practitioner.

Tertiary care services include cancer management, neurosurgery, cardiac surgery, plastic surgery, treatment for severe burns, advanced neonatology services, palliative, and other complex medical and surgical interventions. Tertiary care can be given in a nursing home as part of a palliative service.

In summary, primary focuses on general, first-line care including patient education, wellness and initial diagnosis. Secondary and tertiary care treat more severe conditions or illnesses which need specialist knowledge and increased health monitoring. There are some nurse practitioners, such as family nurse practitioners who are qualified across all three levels. They do however have to have had the necessary training, certification, and experience to qualify.

About Bristol Care Homes

Bristol Care Homes has 4 Nursing Homes in and around Bristol with outstanding and good ratings from the CQC (Care Quality Commission).

Each home has a team of caring and qualified staff, their own chefs who plan and cook delicious and nutritious meals and snacks every day on site. Each bedroom has its own bed, armchair, television and internet access with an ensuite bathroom.

Our lounges, dining rooms and communal areas are bright, fresh and there is always someone around for a chat or for company.

We offer a range of social activities and trips to suit everyone in our care homes.

Our gardens are well maintained and are a place you can come and spend time with your loved one.

We offer many different types of care and every resident has an individual plan which is reviewed regularly by our carers and nurses. Our care includes Dementia, Old Age, Physical Disability and Sensory Impairment Care.

Our Specialist Care includes: Alzheimer’s, Cancer, Colitis & Crohn’s Disease, Hearing Impairment, Motor Neurone Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Orthopaedic, Parkinson’s Disease, Speech Impairment, Stroke, Visual Impairment

The types of care we offer at our homes include: Convalescent, Day, Own GP if required, Palliative, Physiotherapy and Respite Care.

We have a separate specialist Dementia Unit at Glebe House in beautiful Almondsbury.

We have nurses on duty in all of our homes 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

If you are looking for or thinking about Residential, Nursing Care or Assisted Living for yourself or your loved one please contact us today and find out about the outstanding care we offer at every one of our homes in Bristol. We will help you through the journey whilst you make your decision and spend time to ensure your loved one settles with us and is happy in their new home.