How to choose a nursing home
Choosing a nursing home is an important decision. Follow our step-by-step guide and we’ll help you make the right choice.
Although many people can feel worried and overwhelmed at the prospect of moving to a care home, once settled in the benefits are clear.
The change of environment can be daunting, but our homes make the transition as smooth as possible – it’s what comes with over 30 years of experience.
Often it’s a relief to be looked after by professional nursing and care staff: those who have felt lonely and unable to cope with a house or garden are pleasantly surprised by the feeling of companionship; those who may need medical attention can actually feel more independent than when they were living in their own home.
But it’s vital to choose the right place – it will, after all, be your (or your relative’s) new home.
To help you work out what you want, consider asking these questions:
6 key questions
1. What kind of home is it?
- Does it offer the right level of care?
- Will it provide any future care needs?
- Will relatives/the resident be involved in decision making?
- How is GP care arranged?
- Can residents decide when to get up, and go to bed?
- Are other services such as physiotherapy and chiropody available?
- Is there a visiting dentist or optician?
- What type of activities are there?
2. Where is the location?
- Is it in the country or city – will the surroundings be similar to current location?
- How close or convenient is it for family and friends to visit?
- Is easy or free parking available?
- Is there a garden or outside space where residents can get some fresh air?
3. What are your first impressions?
- Did you receive a warm welcome?
- Is the atmosphere homely and friendly?
- Is the home clean and attractively furnished?
- Does the home smell pleasant?
- Generally, do the residents seem content and cared for?
4. What are the communal areas like?
- Is there more than one room where residents can sit or see visitors?
- Is there a quiet lounge without a television?
- Can wheelchairs and walking frames access all areas?
- Are there toilets within easy reach of communal spaces?
- Are there sufficient handrails in place?
5. What are the bedrooms like?
- Did you see an empty room or was the room in use?
- Can residents bring furniture and personal possessions?
- What was the standard of décor?
- Do all rooms have ensuite facilities?
- Do all rooms have televisions and telephone points?
- Can residents lock their own door?
- Do rooms have a call system to alert staff?
- What is the policy on pets?
6. What about menus and meal arrangements?
- Can residents eat when they want to?
- Can you choose to eat in your own room rather than a dining room?
- If eating in the dining room, can you choose who you sit with?
- Is there a menu choice for each meal – how often are menus rotated?
- Are residents consulted by the chef on their likes and dislikes?
- Are there snacks available, if so, when?
- Can special diets be catered for?
- Are there facilities for residents to make a drink?