Top 10 tips for choosing a care home
1 The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the regulatory body for care homes. You can find all the relevant information regarding any care home provider by visiting the CQC website
2 Make sure a care home is safe, caring, effective, responsive to people’s needs and well-led before making decisions.
3 Look for care homes where the staff involve people who use services and their families and carers and treat individuals with compassion, kindness, dignity and respect. Staff should also be capable and confident in dealing with residents’ individual needs. You should always feel that their support is helping residents live the life they want to.
4 Find out whether the staff looking after you or your loved one are adequately skilled, kind and supportive. Ask if a compliance team works alongside the home manager to ensure a consistent standard of care.
5 “Residents should be treated as individuals with their likes and dislikes taken into account.”
6 Consider whether the care home is close enough to family, friends, and community facilities.
7 Look at the home’s features and facilities and how well-led and managed the home is, and are the residents happy and nurtured
8 Imagine the life within the home and look at whether it promotes meaningful activities and connects the home with the community, as community links are important for the home and its residents.
9 Read reviews and residents’ and families’ opinions on the home.
10 Speak to social workers, your GP or consult an independent financial advisor for help with financing care.
Moving into a home
Before moving in, we carry out a pre-admission assessment either at your home or hospital. This helps us to understand your care needs, gather history about yourself and your family as well as likes, dislikes and any preferences. We usually involve your family member in this process where possible.
The care home manager should give you all the information you need before moving into the home and outline any restrictions on what you can bring beforehand.
Things to think about
Carry out the following activities with a friend or relative, as saying goodbye to one chapter of your life before starting the next one can be painful.
- It’s recommended to label all your clothes before moving in; the last thing you want to happen is to mislay your precious possessions.
- When assessing the care home, check whether you can bring personal furniture items with you
- It’s important to list the people you would like to stay in contact with regularly and pass this list to the home manager, who should help you achieve this.
- Importantly, redirect your post and, of course, let your friends and family know your new address.
- Find out from the home if you need insurance for personal belongings.
Help for relatives after the move
It can take a little while to get used to having a loved one live in a care home; some can find it a little upsetting, especially if they have cared for that person for some time. You will gain strength from knowing your loved one is receiving the best possible care.
Good residential homes welcome relatives to come whenever they wish to visit, and some relatives like to continue helping with care duties or even stay overnight. Staff at the care home usually work with you, give you support and aim to make the experience as pleasurable as possible. They hold regular relative meetings in the homes to discuss matters people want to put forward or suggest ways to improve services. This process helps residents feel they maintain some control over their lives. It’s also a lovely way to meet other relatives in the same situation so you can share your experiences.
We also conduct care plan reviews with residents or their relatives in the home or on different digital platforms every month or frequency of your own choice.