When the time comes for an elderly relative or friend to require care it is understandably a difficult decision to make. There are lots of questions that need answering and often you think of these after you have left from a visit to the home or after you have finished your telephone enquiry.
We have taken some time to compile some of the frequently asked questions we get from prospective clients along with some of the questions that you should really be asking in your search for a care facility.
1 . Do you have any current vacancies?
The answer to this question can vary. It is always worth giving the Proprietor, Charles D’Cruz, a call on his direct line – 07958 482189 – or email him at [email protected]. He will be very happy to hear from you and can update you on the most current situation.
2. Typically, how much does care cost?
The cost of our service depends essentially on 2 factors: primarily the degree of care required and – less importantly – the actual room occupied. Currently fees range from between £950 to £1250 per week. To discuss either your or your relatives exact requirements, please feel free to call us for a more personal care plan
3. Are you a nursing home or a care home?
The hub of Pembroke Care is our residential care home – Pembroke Lodge – which has been run by Charles and his family since August 1994. Our pledge is to look after our residents ‘for life’ and so extends well into that large grey area which is often confused with ‘nursing care’.
In addition to residential care, Pembroke Care now offers Assisted and Independent living facilities. Please call to discuss what level of care would be most suitable for your relative.
4. What is the difference between a nursing home and a care home?
If you’re ever confused as to whether your relative needs a nursing home or a care home, just ask yourself this question: Does my relative need a qualified nurse to administer the care or simply a trained individual who exudes patience and lots of TLC? There you have your answer!
5. How many beds do you have?
We are registered for 20 beds in our care home – Pembroke Lodge – but prefer to run at 16. This number allows us to provide a high level of care without compromising on quality. It also fits in better with the physical characteristics of our adapted Victorian building.
We have 8 beds in our Assisted Living home – Alexandra Lodge and 6 Independent Living apartments.
6. Where are you located?
We are situated at numbers 32, 34 and 38 Alexandra Road, Reading, Berkshire, RG1 5PF. We are less than a mile from Reading town centre and just around the corner from the Royal Berkshire Hospital. We are close to the intersection of Alexandra Road and Erleigh Road and back onto the playing fields of Reading Boys Grammar School.
7. Do you do short term or respite care?
Yes – if beds are available. Please refer to the answer to question number 1 above.
1. What qualifications/experience does the manager have?
Wanting to emulate the way his old Latin master inspired his young pupils to achieve the best that life had to offer, Charles D’Cruz, the manager and proprietor of Pembroke Care, had initial aspirations of entering the Educational field as a school teacher. He initially graduated with an Honours Degree in Mathematics and Physical Education and subsequently obtained a Post Graduate Certificate in Education. Soon after qualifying, however, he decided he should first broaden his life’s experience and so entered the commercial world and spent the next 14 years working as a computer programmer for a large corporate.
Charles had also always had a desire to work for himself – ideally in a profession where his family could also participate. When an opportunity arose in August of 1994 to take over the management of a care home in Reading – a town where several other members of his family had already moved to – he and his wife, Naheed, jumped at the chance.
Looking back, Charles now describes this time in his life as a ‘Baptism by Fire’. Whilst managing a 20-bedded care home – essentially a 24/7 task – he also undertook a part time evening Management for Care course in 1994 and subsequently upgraded his qualifications to an NVQ Level 4 in Social Care together with the Registered Managers Award in the year 2000.
Life managing a thriving care home continues to be busy although these days Charles is assisted by his 2 sons – Sam and Danny – who help him run the family business. Charles and Naheed also have 2 daughters – Sabrina and Sophie – who also work within the care home.
2. How many staff do you have?
We employ around 22 full-time staff with 4 Senior Care Assistants, 16 Care Assistants, a Chef and a Domestic. Typically we have 6 staff on duty in the busy morning period until after lunch. This drops to 5 in the early afternoon and 4 in the late afternoon. During the night we have 3 staff on duty.
3. Do you have much staff turnover?
Whilst inevitably there is some staff turnover, the majority of our staff stay for several years after joining us. We are a family- run business and we like to think of our residents and staff as part of our extended family – and like to treat them as such.
4. What activities do you do?
Our activities program is updated monthly and includes armchair exercises, indoor skittles, board games, memory boxes, singing and entertainment to name just a few.
Where possible we also take our residents for walks and drives to local areas of beauty and interest. Currently we are planning our first ever trip abroad for next year with some of our residents who are ready, willing and able. Destination Italy!
5. What happens should my relatives care needs increase?
Pembroke Care offers a range of environments from our Independent Living apartments and Assisted Living home – Alexandra Lodge – through to our fully registered Residential Care Home- Pembroke Lodge.
Between these environments we are able to offer a continuum of accommodation and care suitable to the individual needs of the client and appropriate for that time in their lives. With the support of Pembroke Surgery just across the road and the District Nurses who visit some of our residents daily, we are able to live up to our pledge which is to look after our residents ‘For Life’.
6. What happens should the funds run out?
Should private funds drop below £24,000 the individual becomes entitled to financial help from Social Services. Our residents can rest assured that they can carry on living at Pembroke Lodge without disruption.