For those of you who haven’t already heard the news, my name is Brian, I am a bear and I have just spent my first two weeks as a new resident at Goodson Lodge Care Centre.
I decided to write a series of blogs to illustrate my time settling in to the home, to let others who might be considering a move know what to expect. I have also been speaking to other residents about their experiences so that I can make my blog as informative as possible. This is a big step and for some it might be an anxious time, so I hope this will help explain what it’s like becoming a new resident.
For my first blog I thought I’d explain a little about my journey into the home. Luckily, I have a big family who are very internet savvy. They did lots of research for me. They tell me they did the following:
- They checked the Care Quality Commission’s website. CQC is the regulator and all care services are listed on their website, each is given a rating, from Outstanding at the top to Requiring Improvement at the bottom. My family were able to read reports here and find out how each local home’s inspection had gone. Goodson Lodge had a ‘Good’ rating so my family made further investigations.
- They checked a website called https://www.carehome.co.uk/ . This website has reviews from people who have used care homes in the past so you can find out about their experiences and how the homes are rated by their customers. Goodson Lodge had a score of 9.8 which I thought sounded brilliant. My family were also able to use this page to look at pictures of the home as well as taking a virtual tour and seeing their upcoming events. It was good to see that the home was welcoming in the local community.
- Next, they visited The Order of St John Care Trust website here: https://www.osjct.co.uk/ This is the organisation which runs Goodson Lodge as well as 69 other homes across 4 counties. They learned that it is a charitable organisation which we liked. From there they found this helpful guide explaining the process of moving into a care home. We found this very helpful.
- This is also where we discovered the home had a Facebook page, OSJCT Goodson Lodge, so we had a look and we were able to see all the special things they get up to with their residents.
At this point we had decided that Goodson Lodge was a home we were seriously interested in so we called them up and spoke to a lovely lady who arranged an appointment for us to visit the home. My first impressions of the home were fantastic. Did you know they have a cinema, coffee shop, hairdressers, and a shop? They also have a library and lovely landscaped gardens with raised planters for the residents. We were all very impressed with the spacious rooms which were all en-suite and fully furnished, although we were told that we could bring in my own things if we preferred. We also loved the comfy lounges which were all very much like the lounge in my old house. I instantly felt that I could make it my home. The team at Goodson Lodge recommended that I saw other homes. They explained that each one has its own unique character and that it is good to get a feel of what’s available. I took their advice and visited other homes but in the end we all agreed that Goodson would be the place I would feel most at home.
Over the next few weeks my family worked with the home to complete all the paperwork. I packed up my things and decided what furniture I wanted to bring with me. The Deputy Manager, Hannah, also came to visit and did an assessment of my needs to make sure they could write a care plan about the way I like to live. I visited the home a few more times joining them to play scrabble and on one occasion for lunch to help me prepare for my move a little more.
On the 19th November at 2:00pm I stepped through the doors for the first time as a brand new resident. I was a little nervous, but we had done so much research and spent many hours in the home, so I was happy that I had made a good decision.
Stay tuned for my next blog when I will share my experience of week one in my new home.