Respite stay

What can I expect during a respite stay?

Respite care is a valuable option that is offered by care homes, such as those run by ACI Care Group. Care professionals understand that when a relative becomes your carer, there can be a strain placed upon relationships. It reaches the point where you may both consider the need for a break.

Often, relatives can be reluctant to explore respite care as they are unsure of just what is on offer. Here, we want to fill you in on all that you can expect during a respite stay. This will see you fully informed and allow your relatives that added peace of mind too.

A holiday getaway

When you enter respite care, it is fair to perhaps consider it as a bit of a holiday. The care home that you choose for your stay will treat you just like any other resident in terms of having access to everything that is on offer.

Respite care provides the perfect opportunity to take a break while all the time being surrounded by caring professionals. Your relatives can be assured that you’ll be receiving the very best in care during your stay and, what’s more, all of the chores are taken care of, so you’ll never need to lift a finger!

A chance to socialise

Respite care gives you the opportunity to mix with a great group of people. Real bonds are formed between residents and staff as well as between residents themselves. During your first respite stay you have the opportunity to make new friends. Any other stay sees you revisiting old ones too.

With concerns surrounding loneliness and isolation, both you and your loved ones will have the assurance that these won’t be issues here. Yes, you can happily take time out to yourself, but care homes will always seek to get you involved in the community.

The best in dining

One of the highlights of your respite stay will be the quality of meals that you can choose from. No matter what the options are, you can be sure of meals that are high quality, nutritious, and delicious.

Mealtimes have the added bonus of being one of the main times that people come together, sit down, and relax. Great company along with great food, makes for an all-around great experience.

Activities and events

When receiving respite care, you will have access to all the activities and events that our permanent residents have access to. This could see you taking up a new hobby, learning a new skill, or even enjoying a trip out.

Respite care providers know that these activities are a great way to help with physical and mental wellbeing. More importantly, they know that they are fun too.

Access to 24/7 care

Of course, part of being a resident in a care home is about receiving the right care that is tailored to you. Respite care will mean that you have access to the care that you need, no matter the time of day or night.

To find out more about our respite service get in touch on [insert home phone number].


Resdidents bedroom

How to personalise your room in a care home

Moving into a care home is a major decision. It is one usually taken by both yourself and loved ones together. One of the more challenging aspects can be leaving your own home and worrying that you are leaving behind an array of memories.

Care homes, such as those run by ACI Care Group, look to make this part of your journey as easy as possible. Part of this is allowing residents to personalise their rooms and to make them as homely as they possibly can. Here are some of the ways that you can make your room as individual as you are:

Adding photos

People spend a lifetime taking and collecting photographs. These are usually proudly displayed in our own homes. They help us to reminisce about journeys from our past, old friends, and our relatives. Given how much photos mean to us all, these are something that you should be including in your room at your care home. This really helps with our residents wellbeing as it keeps memories alive and provides a great talking point for visitors.

Small items of furniture

Do you have a favourite piece of furniture at home? Perhaps it's a chest of draws that proudly displays your favourite photographs. Maybe it’s a bedside cabinet that you just can't do without. Whatever it may be, why not bring it with you? Adding smaller items of furniture can make your room your own and also bring a sense of familiarity. You could go as far as recreating a part of your room at home to help you to feel more settled.

Recreating smells

Our sense of smell is perhaps more powerful than some people think. The truth is that we all have our favourite smells and, sometimes, we associate these with places where we have felt happy and secure. Recreating these smells in your room is a great way to add some individuality and to help you feel at home. It could be that you bring something with you that has a familiar smell, or maybe you use the likes of reed diffusers to create the smell that you want.

Consider bringing your own bedding

Sleeping in a new bed can often be a bit of a challenge and can take time to get used to. One way to help with this is by bringing your own bedding with you. Not only will you have something that makes you feel more comfortable, but you will also have something else that shows your individuality with your choice of colours and fabrics.

Create a memory box

Moving into a care home can feel like you are leaving memories behind. One way of keeping them with you is by creating a memory box. This can contain anything that you want it to that is able to help you recall fond memories. If this is something that you maybe feel you could share, it also provides the ideal opportunity for care staff to get to know the real you.


Lady in the sun

How do I fund care for my loved one?

When the time comes for your loved one to explore a care home, one of the biggest concerns comes when considering the cost. Bearing in mind the professional care being offered, it is perhaps unsurprising to find that care home fees can mount up.

We want to take the time to put your mind at ease by explaining the options that are open to you when it comes to funding care. Every individual deserves the very best care possible, and fees shouldn’t present a barrier to this.  Here’s a look at the main funding options that are available.


Local authority funding

If your loved one has savings or capital that don’t exceed £23,250, there is the possibility that your local council will contribute towards the cost of a care home. Just how much your council will assist will depend on the type of care that you need and how much that your loved one may be able to afford to pay themselves.

In terms of capital, this refers to savings as well as any property that is owned. There is a possibility that the local authority will disregard the value of your property in certain circumstances. One of these is that the property is your home, and your partner still lives there. You can find out more about this by clicking here.

There is also the possibility of entering into a Deferred Payment Arrangement with the local authority. This sees the local authority funding your care with you agreeing to pay it back from the value of your home. Typically, you can’t use more than 70% - 80% of your home’s value. You may choose to sell your home to repay the council while you are still a care home resident, or you may choose to wait until after you have passed away for this to happen.

If Local Authority is a route that you think is right for you, then you’ll first need to arrange for an assessment to be carried out. Known as a needs assessment, this shows the degree of care that someone may need and establishes how much the council can contribute towards the costs.


NHS funding

There is also the possibility that the NHS may be able to assist with care home fees. Whether or not your loved one may be eligible for financial support is not always clear, and the eligibility requirements can often change.

The funding provided by the NHS is known as continued healthcare funding. Generally, it is only available if your loved one has ongoing, complex needs that require healthcare.


Private funding

Where your loved one is not eligible for funding from your local authority, or the NHS, it is usually necessary to explore the options that are available for privately funded care. Even if you do self-fund care, there is still the possibility that your loved one could qualify for other financial support.

The most common ways of privately funding a care home include:


Equity release:

This is one of the most common ways of funding a care home if your loved one is a homeowner. It allows access to equity in the property without actually selling it.  The two main types of equity release are lifetime mortgage and home reversion. It is important to seek independent financial advice before exploring this option so that you are fully aware of any risks involved.


Accessing savings:

If your loved one has savings, then this is an ideal way to fund care home costs. Generally, savings are readily accessible and using them doesn’t involve any risks. Of course, savings won’t be limitless so you may need to explore alternative funding methods before these run out.


Using a pension:

If your loved one is at least 55 years old then they can explore using their pension and income drawdown. Providing that a pension isn’t needed for any other expenses, it can make sense to transfer it into a drawdown product that can be used to fund care home fees.


Insurance Policies:

If you have any form of insurance policy, you need to check for the following:

  • Is it a life insurance policy with a cash in value that you can use?
  • Is there critical illness cover that can be accessed?
  • It’s rare, but do you have a long-term care insurance policy that you can use? Alternatives are immediate care plans and pre-funded care plans.



Types of care

What are the different types of care available for the elderly?

We know that finding the right care can all get a little confusing. Whether you are searching for yourself, or a loved one, there needs to be a certainty when it comes to the types of care that are offered. At the Old Rectory, part of ACI Care, we’re here to help you through your journey to finding the right home for you, starting with understanding the different types of care available…


Residential care

Residential care offers a safe, secure, and fun environment where residents are given only the support that they want or need. This sees residents being assisted with personal care tasks such as washing, dressing, and perhaps taking medication.

At ACI Care, our residential care homes have a focus on activities and socialising alongside the standard care that is provided. We ensure that our residents' lives are full and rewarding.

For more information on residential care services at our homes, click here.

Dementia care

Dementia care sees additional support put into place for those who have been diagnosed with this condition. While residents may need similar support to those receiving residential care, there also needs to be consideration given to other needs. This may involve memory loss or difficulty with making sense of surroundings.

ACI Care homes provide specialist trained staff who offer the very best in dementia care. This means that all our residents' needs are understood and managed. The result is that lives can be lived to the fullest.

For more information on dementia care services at our homes, click here.


Respite care

Respite care allows residents to experience all that residential care has to offer but is provided on a temporary basis. Respite care may be for several nights, or it could be for several weeks. Often this type of care is sought where someone is perhaps recovering from a hospital stay or where a family member is temporally unavailable.

At ACI Care, our respite care residents have access to all the support, care, and activities that our long-term residents have. We provide the perfect environment that allows for recovery or even just a break.

For more information on dementia care services at our homes, click here.


Residential, dementia and respite care are the three main services we offer in our homes. Alternative care options that may be suitable for you include specialist nursing and palliative care homes…


Nursing care

Nursing homes could be the right option for you or your loved one if care demands are a little higher than what is offered in a care home. Nursing care sees assistance being provided with more personal care, but there are also qualified nurses who form part of the team.

Nursing care is suited to those who experience significant struggles with day-to-day life. It is for residents who require the care of a nurse and are being treated for various medical conditions.


Palliative care

This type of care is provided for people who have an illness, or disease, that they are not able to recover from. Palliative care is also referred to as end-of-life care and is offered to those who are in the latter stages of illness.

There is a focus on dignity here, both in life and in death. Attention is given to people as a whole, ensuring that they are as comfortable as possible in terms of pain management as well psychological, social, and spiritual wellbeing.


If you would like to find out more about the services on offer at the Old Rectory, get in touch with a member of the team on 01303 874470.

What can I expect when moving into a care home?

When the time comes to move into a care home, there may be a mix of emotions. There is likely to be a sense of relief for both you and your loved one, but there is also likely to be a degree of uncertainty and maybe even some nervousness.

At ACI Care, we want to make any move as easy as possible so here we are going to consider exactly what you can expect whether you are receiving respite care, residential care, or dementia care.

First things first

Before it gets to the stage of moving into a care home, you need to be sure that you have found the right home for you and your loved one. An initial conversation with a care provider is often the best first step. This can help you to find out key information and to see if the care home is the right fit.

Arrange a visit

If you were going to move house you would arrange a viewing first. Moving into a care home is no different. ACI Care encourages potential residents and their families to pay us a visit. This is a chance to see the environment itself and also to ask the staff any questions.

Make your space homely

When it comes to moving in you will find that staff will offer you all of the support that you need. They will make sure that your move goes without a hitch and that you can make your room your own. We often find that residents love to bring items from home so that they can decorate their rooms and make them their own.

24/7 care on hand

Of course, a move into a care home has been for a reason. Whether you are in need of respite care, residential care, or dementia care it is important that this is on hand when you need it. At ACI Care homes, the assistance that you need is available every second of every day from our caring members of staff.

Life on your terms

Moving into a care home is a step towards taking back control. Do you want to throw yourself into all of the activities that are on offer or do you want to step back and enjoy some peace and quiet? Either way, you take charge of what you want to do, and our staff will support you every step of the way.

A chance to explore new hobbies

Perhaps you already have a favourite pastime. Maybe you are looking for something new. ACI Care homes cater for your needs regardless. We can help you rekindle an old interest or we can introduce you to something new. There is plenty to get involved with.

Make new friends

Our residents build strong friendships with each other. In fact, we’d go as far as saying that our care homes have a family feel to them. Whether it is mixing in communal areas or taking part in many of the activities that are offered, there is plenty of opportunities to mix with other residents and to form meaningful relationships.

Great quality meals

Our care homes boast the very best when it comes to the dining experience. We provide meals that are balanced and healthy and, more importantly, tasty! Our dining rooms ensure that meals are also a social occasion and they provide a great way to catch up with other residents.

For more information on what it’s like to live at an ACI Care home, get in touch with our friendly team today and we’d be delighted to show you around.

How do I talk to my loved one about moving into care?

It may be that there have been certain signs that suggest that your loved one will benefit from a care home. Perhaps there is a need for respite care, residential care, or assistance with dementia. No matter what the reason, it is normal for relatives to find it difficult to broach the subject.

At ACI Care, we want to make the transition into a home as easy as possible. As difficult as it may seem, it all starts with that first conversation. Here are our tips to help make that conversation just a little bit easier.

Planning in advance

Discussing the potential need for a care home is not a conversation to have on the spur of the moment. Before it gets to the stage of talking there are certain things to consider. Some of these include:

The right time

When it comes to talking about moving into a care home, you need to choose the right time. This means considering the time of day. Too late and your loved one may be feeling tired and less receptive. It is important to consider the right time for you as well: make sure it is not a time when you need to rush and are feeling stressed.

The right place

There is no getting away from the fact that talking to your loved one about the need for residential, respite, or dementia care is going to be emotional. You need to ensure that you choose a setting that is private and where you are unlikely to be interrupted. A public place is best avoided.

The right people

It may be that your loved one has a friend or relative that has a special way of getting through. If so, consider if this is the right person to be present to have this discussion. Make sure that there aren’t too many people present though as this could lead to your loved one feeling crowded and perhaps even pressured.

The right advice

Regardless of how your loved one first takes the news, there are likely to be questions. It is important that you know about the types of care that are offered and also have some understanding of the financial implications. ACI Care can provide you with all of the information that you’ll need about the types of care that exist.

Starting the conversation

Finding the opening lines to any difficult conversation can be hard. Talking to your loved one about moving into care is no exception. Things to consider when starting to talk are:

Make clear that it is a two-way conversation

  • Ensure that you ask questions that show that your loved one understands.
  • Be clear that they can find out more details either through yourself or by talking to a home manager direct if they wish.

Keep the conversation positive

  • Explain that you love your family member and are looking out for their best interests.
  • Focus on the benefits of moving into care. Some of these benefits include:
    • Access to professional carers 24/7
    • The opportunity to meet new people and become part of a community
    • No more house chores! Including freshly prepared meals three times a day, plus snacks!
    • The chance to try out new activities in the safety of the home. Activities may include painting, gardening, baking, pottery, exercise classes etc. Find out what they might enjoy and talk to a home manager about how they might be able to facilitate their hobbies.

If you are looking into care for yourself or a loved one, we encourage you to plan a visit to a care home that you are considering. This can provide reassurance for both you and your loved one.

Why not get in touch and arrange a visit with us today so that we can bring peace of mind.

Winners in the Kent Care Awards

We are absolutely delighted to share with you the amazing night we had at the Kent Care Awards 2021, which was an all-around brilliant event. It was humbling to see such recognition for care staff and to see all finalists in one room. We were incredibly proud to be finalists in 4 major categories:

  • Residential Registered Manager Award (Michelle Millard) – an award for Managers who are able to demonstrate their exceptional ability to lead well an enriched quality and safe service to their residents.
  • Palliative Care Award (Ann Savage) – an award for those who demonstrate how special and professional they have to be able to support someone who is at the end of their life.
  • Putting People First Award (Cheryl Waters) – an award for those who demonstrate how they put people first within their service area. Judges looked for exceptional examples of the individual’s putting people first ethos in their delivery of care and support.
  • Care Team Award (Kayleigh Roberts, Dalila Neves, Ruth Couch and Michelle McKay) – An award for a team of two or more support or care staff who are able to demonstrate how as a team they enhance the lives of those they support.

Celebrations could be heard for miles when it was announced that we were the winners of the Care Team Award. ‘Over the moon' is an understatement and without each and every staff member's care and dedication to our residents, this would not have been possible.  We thank all our brilliant staff for all they do and are so pleased that they have the recognition they deserve.

From this award, we step up to the next round - the Regional Care Award.

When should I seek care for my loved one?

Realising that a loved one is in need of care is not always easy to accept. The thought of a move into a care home can bring emotions that are difficult for both you and your family member. Often though, when the time comes to make that move there is a sense of relief for all concerned.

Trying to care for a loved one yourself can bring added tensions to your relationship. Especially where dementia is concerned, it can become particularly upsetting. Sometimes just respite care can bring a much-needed break and allow you to know that your loved one is being cared for. Here are some of the things that show that care may be the right option for your loved one:

Your loved one is struggling with day-to-day tasks

Perhaps there is a degree of acceptance that things get a little more difficult as we get older. Of course, that is true, but when a loved one is struggling with basic tasks this could be a sign that care is right for them. Tasks such as:

  • Getting themselves in and out of bed
  • Getting themselves dressed
  • Being able to wash and take care of personal hygiene
  • The ability to prepare meals

If your loved one is unable to perform these tasks, it may well be that moving into a care home is the right move for them.

A loss of mobility

Of course, a lack of mobility will also have an impact on the day-to-day tasks that we have already looked at. However, it goes a little further than this. People who do not receive the care that they need often become isolated and lonely. A lack of mobility sees them unable to leave their home and seek company. Signs of your loved one struggling with mobility include:

  • A greater reliance on aids such as a walking stick
  • Unable to walk around the house without being out of breath
  • The need for a mobility scooter
  • An increase in the number of trips and falls that they’ve experienced

At ACI Care, we ensure that all of our residents lead full and active lives. A lack of mobility doesn’t mean that they are isolated and we actively encourage them to socialise and be part of our community.

A diagnosis of dementia

When it comes to caring for a loved one who has been diagnosed with dementia, there is no getting away from the fact that this is tough. There is a drain on family members both physically and emotionally along with the constant worry about their loved one’s wellbeing.

Seeking a care home that provides specialist dementia care is a source of relief. You will have peace of mind that your loved one is receiving the very best care.

A little extra care

There may be steps that need to be taken to keep your loved one in the best state of health possible. These could include:

  • Regular medication
  • The changing of dressings
  • Exercises to improve circulation

When it gets to the stage where a loved one is struggling with these tasks, it could be that it is time to seek care. It could be that your family member is forgetting to take medication or that they aren’t physically capable to change a dressing. Of course, you may be able to assist but over the long term, this can become a struggle.

At ACI Care we ensure that your loved one is given the appropriate care that they need. Our care homes see our residents blossom by learning new skills and rediscovering themselves. Family members find peace of mind and newfound happiness when they see their loved ones prosper.

For help and advice when looking into care for a loved one contact us today