7 Things to Consider When Choosing a Care Home

Deciding to move yourself or a loved one into a residential care home facility can be a difficult decision to make, however, having made the decision, choosing the right care home is a different kettle of fish.

Choosing a care home is experienced differently by everyone, particularly when you are searching for yourself, a loved one or a friend.

Irrespective of the reason for searching for institutionalised care, the key things to consider when choosing a care home remain the same.

There are different types of residential homes based on the level of care they offer and the cadre of staff. Your GP or other healthcare providers will help you decide which care home is best for your needs.

This blog post will explore the seven most important things to consider when choosing a care home.

Things to Consider When Choosing a Care Home

Different types of residential care homes offer various degrees of care. The right care home for you, depends primarily on the level of care you need.

If you need support with activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing ambulating and so on then a Care Home will suffice. However, if you need more complex care due to a medical-related condition; then a nursing home may be more appropriate for your care needs.

Your GP will assess your care needs and advise you accordingly regarding the type of Care Home that will support your needs.

Are you confused about the difference between a residential care home and a nursing home? Read the distinction here.

Care Home services are not free, thus funding should be considered when choosing a care home.

How do you intend to cover the cost of staying in a residential care home? Do you plan to pay out-of-pocket for the services or are you eligible for government assistance or insurance?

If you are paying out-of-pocket do you have enough funds to sustain yourself in a care home indefinitely?

If your care home fees are covered by government assistance or insurance are there services that are not covered such as beauty saloons and cinemas? How would you take care of the extra expenses?

The funding source for your care and the options available affect your choice of care home.

The location of a care home is a strong factor to consider when choosing the right care home. Many potential care home residents have social and family ties with their community. Thus choosing a care home close to the resident’s community, family and friends may be more suitable after considering other factors such as the type of care required and cost.

Also, accessibility to stores, banks, saloons and other facilities that the care home resident may need should be considered.

Ongoing communication with potential care home residents with their friends and relatives should be considered when choosing a care home.

Most care homes run open door policy for family members, however, is the care home located near friends and family?

Is the care home in the same county or country where the relatives/friends reside? Are the relatives able to visit regularly?

If the family members cannot visit are there alternative lines of communication such as landlines and mobile phones which can aid communication between the care home resident and their family members?

Does the resident have any hearing or speaking impairments? if that’s the situation are there designated staff that update the family members about the day-to-day welfare of the care home resident?

Care homes whether government or privately owned are not free of charge. The services provided are paid for and the cost depends on the magnitude of support needed. Thus it is important to consider the daily, weekly and monthly cost implications of care in a home. Also, any extra cost not covered in the daily or weekly fee such as a haircut should be ascertained.

Cost is one of the limitations of people looking for a care home. Thus while searching for suitable care homes it is important to check out their cost page and possibly discuss with the care home manager to help you understand the financial implications of choosing that care home.

All care services in the United Kingdom are regulated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC). The purpose is to ensure that all care homes offer quality, effective, safe care services. Thus while searching for a suitable care home, it is important to check the CQC rating and the third-party reviews and comments from previous users of the Care Home.

After making a list of potentially suitable care homes, and checking them up online you should visit the facility to have a first-hand experience of the facility, staff and demeanour of the residents.

Do the carers attend to the residents kindly? Are the residents happy? Observing the residents at ease, smiling and socializing with each other and the staff usually gives you an idea of the quality of care and the carer-resident relationship in the Care Home.

The visit to the care home may be more than once before you decide the right care home for yourself, friends or family members.