Many people have to make a decision about a care home in a crisis, perhaps after a fall or illness, or the death of a carer.
Looking back they often wish they’d had longer to look around. So if you think you or a relative might need a care home in the future, it’s a good idea to do some planning now, so that you’ll know what to do should the need arise.
Browse information on choosing a care home by clicking on the boxes below.
- friends and relatives, for their recommendations
- your GP
- your local Social Services department, which should be able to provide a list of registered homes in your area
Choosing care for a relative can be a difficult and emotional decision please contact one of our managers for a confidential chat to see how we can help.
You may also find it useful to look at inspection reports for individual homes which are produced independently by:
The Care Quality Commission – www.cqc.org.uk
Can the home offer care suitable for your needs?
How often will your care needs be reviewed?
Will the home be able to provide any future care needs?
Will you/your relatives be involved in making decisions about the care?
Which doctor can a resident see?
Are there visiting dentists and opticians?
How often does the hairdresser visit the home?
Can the home provide other services such as chiropody, physiotherapy and occupational therapy, if required?
Does the home have suitable assisted bathing facilities?
Can residents get up and go to bed when they want to?
Will relatives be advised as soon as a resident is taken ill?
Is there more than one room where residents can sit or see visitors?
Is there a quiet lounge without a television?
Are there safe outdoor areas?
Is there easy access for wheelchairs and walking frames?
Are there toilets within easy reach of all parts of the home?
Are there handrails in the toilets and corridors?
Did you see the room that is available?
Can residents bring their own possessions and furniture?
Was it bright and well decorated?
Are en-suite facilities available?
Do bedrooms have a television point?
Do bedrooms have a telephone point?
Can residents lock their room?
Is there a lockable drawer or cabinet in the room?
Does each room have a call system?
Can you change rooms if you want to?
Can residents eat when they want to?
Can meals be taken in a resident’s bedroom?
Is there a choice of menu for each meal?
Can special diets be catered for?
Are snacks available at all times?
Are copies of current menus available for you to look at?
Are the menus rotated?
Does the chef consult the residents on their preferences?
Can residents choose who they sit with in the dining room?
Can relatives and friends have a meal with you?
For residents who need help with eating, are staff trained to do this sensitively?
Is there a weekly plan of activities?
Did you see an example?
Are residents consulted on what hobbies/interests they have?
Are special events, eg birthdays celebrated in the home?
What form of exercise, if any, are residents encouraged to take?
Does the home take residents on trips outside the home?
Are daily newspapers available for residents?
Can residents be taken to places of worship?
Can residents take part in the daily activities within the home, if they wish, eg cleaning, gardening, cooking?
Can relatives/friends help with activities?
Did you see any photographs of activities in the home?
Did you observe staff being friendly and caring towards residents?
Do staff look as though they’ve got time to spend with residents?
What training do staff receive?
How do staff get to know about a new resident’s background, likes, dislikes?
Did you feel that individual needs and preferences could be met by the home when you visited?
Are there set visiting times or are visitors welcome at all times?
Can children visit?
Was the home’s statement of purpose made available?
Was the latest home’s inspection report available?
Is there a waiting list?
Is there a complaints procedure?
What’s included in the weekly fee?
What’s charged as ‘extras’?
- 1. Your local authority may pay for the cost of your residential or nursing home care if your capital is less than:England – £13,500
Wales – £19,000
Scotland – £13,000
- 2. Your local authority will still pay for your accommodation and personal care, but not fully, if your capital is between:England – £13,500 – £22,250
Wales – £19,000 – £22,000
Scotland – £13,000 – £21,500For every £250 you have over the lower amount, they will subtract £1 per week from the money they contribute.
- 3. You will have to pay the full costs of your accommodation and personal care if your capital is over:England – £22,250
Wales – £22,000
Scotland – £21,500If your capital falls below the upper amount while you are in a care home, you will become eligible for help from the local authority.If you want a more expensive home than the authority is willing to pay for, you are allowed to arrange a ‘third party contribution’ from another source.
Your home would be included in your assets only if you live alone, or you are both moving into a care home. In addition, the local authority will disregard the value of your home for 12 weeks after your admission to permanent nursing or residential care.
You will be expected to use all your income – including your pension, benefits, and so on – to fund your care. However, you can keep £21.15 (£20.00 in Wales) a week personal allowance.
In addition, for those elderly people who are mentally infirm with dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease, some homes are classed as ‘Dementia’ Care Homes.
It is important to make sure that the home you choose is the right kind for your needs, both now and in the future.