Finding the right care home for you
Once you’ve decided what sort of home will be most suitable, you can start your research in earnest. Care home websites and brochures will provide plenty of information and will help you filter those you do and don’t like.
Quality of care is paramount, but there are other key factors that also need to be considered: convenience of location for family and friends; cost; and what will happen if circumstances change, e.g. can the home continue to care for residents who become more frail and in need of additional support over time.
The next step is to arrange visits to the homes you’ve shortlisted. It’s best to visit several, if only to have something to compare against, and taking along a relative or friend whose judgement you trust is really helpful. They can provide a different perspective and will be a good sounding board during the decision-making process.
Make a list of what’s important to you and what will help you make your final decision. Below are some suggestions that may be useful:
- Is the home close to other facilities?
- Is the home easy for visitors to get to?
- Do they feel spacious?
- Are they furnished to a reasonable standard and is the furniture in good condition?
- Can residents bring their own bits and pieces to create a more homely feel?
- Is residents’ privacy respected? For instance, do staff knock before entering a room?
- Do the bedrooms have en-suite bathrooms?
Facilities and service
- Are the communal areas well maintained?
- Is the building well adapted to the needs of the frail and elderly?
- Is there access to a garden or outside area?
- Does the home offer a varied programme of activities?
- Does the food menu look wholesome and appetising? Is there a choice of meals and are dietary needs catered for?
- Do residents seem to be happy?
- Are they engaged in what they are doing?
- How do staff interact with the residents?
- Do you feel staff at the home have a good understanding of your particular needs, your likes and dislikes? Have they taken the time to get to know you a little?
- Can the home cater for your specific needs?
- If your needs change or your health deteriorates, will you be able to still stay at the home?
- Are visitors welcome at any time?
- Are GPs, other medical professionals and therapists available?