How to Choose the Right Care Home for You

by | Apr 26, 2021

Choosing a care home is a big life decision. It’s important you are able to choose one where you feel happy and comfortable as well as knowing they will be able to offer the care you need now and potentially in the future.

When selecting a care home, you should first ensure you fully understand your needs. This can be done through a care needs assessment. The next step is learning about the different types of care homes that are available. There are ones run by local authorities, private companies and voluntary organisations. Some will offer accommodation, help with personal care and some will specialise in mental illness like Alzheimer’s disease.  

The care needs assessment will help determine which type of care home will be best suited to you.

What Should I look for in a care home?

Once you have completed the care needs assessment, you will then start looking for the ideal care home based on your requirements.

Start by researching online or contacting homes to request brochures (you can ask a friend or family member to help you with this).

Here are some key things to do when choosing your care home:

  1. Ensure the care home provides the level of care you require now and potentially in the future.
  2. Check to see if there are current vacancies and if not, how long the waiting list is.
  3. Make a list of things that are important to you and questions you may like to ask, you can always ring the manager to discuss these prior to visiting.
  4. Read the latest inspection of the home. This will be available on the CQC Website.
  5. Look through any testimonials or reviews of the care home online.

 Next you will want to think about what your priorities are for your care home.

  • Do you want to stay local or perhaps move somewhere closer to family?
  • How much can you afford to spend?
  • Would you prefer to have your own bathroom?
  • Would you like to take your own furniture or have this provided?
  • Where would you like to be located, near shops, bus routes etc.?
  • Do you require a home that will accept pets?
  • Do you want outings and activities to be available?
  • Would you like the option of preparing your own meals or prefer communal dining?
  • Would you want visitors to be able to visit whenever they choose?

It’s important to take the time to think about your answers to these as they will help determine where you choose to live.

Visiting the Care Home

Once you have made your shortlist of care homes, it’s now time to arrange the visits to look around.

Take your list of priorities with you, this can help remind you when looking round the home and prompt you to ask the right questions. You can also ask questions of current residents as well as the staff.

Here is our checklist for when you visit the care homes:

  • Confirm fees and any additional costs, including activities, outings, insurance etc.
  • Is it easy to access for visitors, is there ample parking?
  • How quiet/ noisy is the surrounding area?
  • Are the grounds and internal buildings well maintained?
  • How close are the nearest transport links?
  • How close are local shops, parks, pubs or churches?
  • Does it feel clean and homely?
  • How easy is it to find your way around?

Trust your instincts, after all, it is you that will be choosing to live here. If something doesn’t feel right to you then don’t ignore it. There will be another option available if this one isn’t right.

You can find a more extensive checklist available here.

If you would like to book a visit at Sydenham House, you can contact us today.