CarersLorna Whitecarer, Carers

What you need to consider before choosing a care home

CarersLorna Whitecarer, Carers
What you need to consider before choosing a care home

How do I choose a care home or nursing home? 

It is important to view a variety of different care homes or nursing homes, depending on your needs or the needs of the person you are caring for. There are a few important things to consider when visiting each care home. 

What should I be looking out for when visiting a home?

  • Spend enough time there – it is important you spend enough time viewing a home to get a real understanding of what it would be like for you or your loved one to live there.
  • Visit with the person who will be living there – It is very important to see how the person who will be living there reacts to the home as you should take their opinions into consideration when choosing a home.
  • Trust your first impressions – if a home gives you a good first impression and gives you a positive gut feeling, you should trust your instincts.
  • Do current residents look happy? – You should pay attention to current residents of a home, if they look happy and presentable that is a really good sign of good care. It’s also important to see if they are engaging in activities and conversation with one another and also being encouraged to carry out tasks for themselves and still maintaining their independence.
  • Location and accessibility – It is important that a home isn’t too far from your home in case you need to get there fast. It’s also important your loved one has regular visitors so the better the location, the more likely friends and relatives are to visit.
  • Bedrooms – are the bedrooms bright? Do the carers and nurses respect a residents privacy and knock before entering? Are residents encouraged to bring their own possessions to the home with them?

What questions should I ask when choosing a care home or nursing home?

  • Ask to see an inspection report – this can reveal information on how well a home is run and to what level quality care is provided.
  • Are there activities available? – Access to a safe garden for residents to walk around and sit in can massively benefit a residents mental health. When inside, it is important there are a number of rooms for residents to sit in, and check if the chairs are placed in groups to encourage conversation, not just around the outside of a room.
  • Are the facilities good? – Are the corridors wide enough for wheelchairs? Are there hand rails? Are the toilets accessible and are there enough of them?

If you feel like you may forget details or questions you want to ask, take a notepad to remind you of what you need to ask and to jot down information about the home.