A NEW guide to care homes has been launched in Wales.

Heléna Herklots, the Older People’s Commissioner for Wales, has published a new guide for older people and their families that provides answers to frequently asked questions about moving into and living in care homes.

The guide aims to help to ensure older people have a better understanding of their rights when living in a care home, and contains information on a wide range of topics including finding a suitable care home, paying for care, having a say in decisions, activities and socialising, and what someone can do if they are unhappy with the care and support they are receiving.

To develop the guide, the commissioner’s team met and spoke with older people at a series of engagement events throughout Wales, to hear directly from them about the questions they had about moving into and living in a care home. The Commissioner also worked with care providers and other stakeholders to ensure the information included within the guide would provide answers to the questions they were often asked by residents.

Ms Herklots: "I have continued to monitor and scrutinise health boards and local authorities to ensure they are delivering on the commitments they made following the review into the quality of life and care of older people living in care homes that was undertaken by my office, as well as continuing to engage with care providers throughout Wales.

“But alongside this important work, I also wanted to empower older people and their families by providing them with the information they have told me they want and need when moving into or living in a care home.

“That’s why I have published my new care home guide, to support older people and their families at what can often be a difficult time.”

More 6,000 copies of the guide have been distributed to local authorities, health boards and third sector organisations – including Age Cymru, Alzheimer’s Society and RNIB Cymru – to ensure they can be easily accessed by older people and their families.

The leaflet can also be downloaded from www.olderpeoplewales.com and hard copies are available from the commissioner’s office on 03442 640670.