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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 When Choosing a Nursing Home

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?