Care homes are a great choice for individuals who may need round-the-clock help and support to complete daily activities and aren't able or willing to live alone. Some care homes may specialise in certain illnesses and diseases, such as dementia or physical disabilities.
What to look for when researching care homes.
Consider Your Loved One's Needs
Begin by considering your loved one's care needs, including their medical, physical, emotional, and social requirements. Consider factors such as dementia, mobility, incontinence, medication needs, and the level of care needed. This will help narrow your search and save time looking into facilities that may not be equipped to handle certain needs. A good assessment by the potential care home will involve a discussion with you and your loved one about their needs, so it is helpful to have thought about this in advance.
Think about the location of the care home. Is it convenient for family and friends to visit? Is it near necessary medical facilities or specialists? Consider whether your loved one has any preferences for the location. Moving into a care home and the feeling of losing independence can be a very difficult transition for some people and having a strong understanding of why a particular location was chosen could be helpful in the future.
Check the CQC Ratings
The CQC rates care homes in the UK, and their reports can be a valuable resource. These reports provide information about the care home's compliance with regulations, safety, and quality of care. Ensure that you read these reports for the care homes you're considering. There are 5 main categories care providers are rated in:
Using Pairly to search for care homes in your area allows you to easily see the CQC rating, if you click on any of the categories, you can read the full report summary. You may want to use the report as a basis to ask questions about the potential Care Home when you visit.
Facilities and activities
Care homes offer a variety of activities to keep residents engaged and entertained. There are often also hairdressing and nail facilities to keep residents looking and feeling their best. Some activities may include:
Arts and crafts
Music and entertainment
Board games and puzzles
Outings to local attractions
Seasonal events and celebrations
Visit Potential Care Homes
Schedule visits to the care homes you are considering. During these visits ask questions, pay attention to cleanliness, the attitude and qualifications of the staff, safety measures, and the quality of care provided.
Care homes are a very personal choice and what may be perfect for one individual may not be perfect for another. We recommend doing thorough research before making any big decisions that will impact your loved ones life and, where possible, be sure to get them involved in the process. Choosing which care home they want to live in can help tremendously with the transition process.
If you aren't sure what type of care you or a loved one require, check out our guide to the different types of care within the UK.