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Searching for Your Ideal Care Home: A Few Tips

It’s a hard decision, choosing to place a parent, child or a close relative into care and choosing the right care home can seem like a daunting task. Here at PrimeLife we believe we can make this process a little easier for you, by giving you some advice on what to look for when it comes to selecting the ideal care home for your loved one; after all, it’s an important decision.

What Care is Needed?

Before you can select the ideal care home you first need to identify the care which your parent, child or relative needs. A good place to start is social services. They are able to provide you with a full assessment, this will give you an indication as to the type of care which is needed and any funding that may be available to you

They also provide lots of useful information, so it’s always worth getting in touch with them and having a discussion. In addition to this our care home managers will also carry out their own assessment to understand the individuals care requirements and ensure that we can meet the needs of your loved one.

 What Care Will be Provided?

Once you have determined the type of care your parent, child or relative needs then you can start to narrow down your search. Each care home should be able to tell you what type of care they provide, if they have any special facilities and what type of care they are unable to provide. Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and give a care home a ring.

Other things to consider

  • Does the care home provide entertainment and/or arrange activities in the home for their residents? If so, what and how often.
  • Does the care home arrange day trips and outings for residents?
  • How big are the rooms? Are they en suite?
  • Do you have to share a room or do you get one to yourself?
  • What are the arrangements for couples? Can they share a room?
  • Can you bring your own possessions, such as furniture and decorative items?
  • Can you bring your pets?
  • Do you feel relaxed and at home in the care home?
  • Does the home look and smell clean?
  • What are the communal areas like? Do they have a quiet room and a TV room?
  • How are the chairs arranged?
  • Is there a homely or institutional feel to the home?
  • Look and if possible try the food on offer and ask for sample menus
  • Can other residents or family members offer recommendations to you?

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Location is normally quite an important factor – not only for those who will be staying in a care home but for family and friends who want to visit. Therefore, you need to consider;
  • How easy is it to drive to the care home?
  • Is there local transportation close by?
  • Is access to the care home easy especially for those with mobility aids?
  • Is parking available?

You may also want to consider

  • Can residents come and go as they please? If so, are there shops, cafes, places of worship and local entertainment nearby?
  • Does the home have links with local clubs and day centres that residents can attend and make use of these facilities?
  • Does the home feel like part of the community?
  • What are the security arrangements of the home?

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Aside from the care and the facilities of the care home, you need to think about how you will be able to communicate with your parent, child or relative once they’ve moved into the home. Do residents have phones in their rooms, and is there wifi readily available. Or will they need money to use a payphone in a communal area?

You also need to consider how you intend to communicate with the care home itself, how much contact will you have with them and what is the process should you wish to make a complaint.  All homes should have readily available and on display a copy of their complaints procedure.

You will have a point of contact and you need to be happy that they will contact with you regarding the health and wellbeing of your parent, child or relative.

Level of Care

Unsurprisingly, when you’re looking for a care home you should check that the care home is providing adequate care. Each adult care home in the UK is inspected and regulated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) these reports are free to access and most will showcase them on their websites.

However to view the report for a particular care home you can visit CQC at

Our final piece of advice is that you should try and visit as many homes as possible. You will quickly determine those which you like and those which you don’t. If you need any further advice please don’t hesitate to get in touch with the team here at PrimeLife.
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