How do I choose a care home?
If you envisage funding your care yourself, now and into the future, you are fully free to choose your care home. If you need help with the fees, or envisage you might in the future, you still have a right to some choice as to which home you move to, though there will be a limit on what the local authority is willing to pay. In choosing a care home that will suit you, apart from checking the charges and the contract, you may want to think about the following:
Trial period: Most homes will be happy to accept potential residents on a trial basis, to see whether they can meet your needs, and for you to see if life in a care home is what you expected.
Level of care: Is the home able to provide the care you need?
Personal needs: Can the home cater for any cultural, spiritual or dietary needs you have? If you are a smoker, what is the smoking policy?
What about your personality: Do you like a routine and a setting where a lot of things are done for you; or would you prefer to be encouraged to be as independent as possible, and expect to be consulted about most decisions?
Location: Is the home near enough to family and friends so you will be able to have visitors?
Social activities: What activities are organised, and how often? Will you be able to keep up any hobbies you are still able to do?
Meals: What are the meals like? How much choice is there?
Facilities: If the communal lounge has a television how/by whom are the programmes chosen? Is there a separate room where there is no television, for those who want to be quiet, or to be able to have conversation with visitors?
Pets: Can you bring your pet if you have one? Does the home have a pet?
Associations: Is there a residents’/relatives’ association or committee?
What happens if…:You become more frail or your needs change?