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Choosing the right care home is a big decision. It’s important that you find the right care home – one that not only meets your needs but also feels right for you as well.

On this page, we'll explain:

What other options can I consider before moving into a care home?

If living at home independently is becoming difficult it’s worth considering your other options first. Make sure to look into all the options and seek advice to make the right decision for you.

Some of your other options may be:

If you decide that moving into a care home is the right option then it can give you the chance to focus on your health and wellbeing, and reduce the burden of having to manage your physical and health needs on your own. It can also give you the chance to meet new people and develop new friendships.

How do I find a care home in my area?

Think of it like buying a house: you need to get a feel for what’s out there before making a decision. You should make list of local homes and visit a few to get an idea of what they’re like.

As a starting point, ask your friends and family - they may be able to point you towards a care home with a good reputation. You could also look in the telephone directory.

CareHomeAdvisor is a website where you can search for care homes, and find out how they are rated by the Care Quality Commission, NHS Choices, Your Care Rating, Food Standards Agency and the Health & Safety Executive. It can help you understand your various options in order to make an informed decision.

Search for care homes via CareHomeAdvisor

What should I look for in a care home?

It’s worth taking time to find the right home. Try to visit the home to have a look round and talk to staff members. Some homes may invite you to spend the day there so you can get a feel of what it’s like. You may be able to move on a trial basis before you decide whether to stay.

Our video explains some of the key things to look out for when visiting a care home.

Before you visit, make a list of all the questions you want to ask and all the things you want to look out for – it’s easy to forget things and doing as much research as you can is important. Our care home checklist has a list of questions to help your research.

Care home checklist

Our Care home checklist is a list of the key things to consider when looking for a care home. You can download a copy of the guide and print it to take with you on your visit. You can also call Age UK advice to get a free copy of the guide sent to you.

Care home checklist (PDF 241 KB)

You can read also reviews of care homes from The Care Quality Commission, the independent regulator of health and social care in England.

Read care home reviews (via Care Quality Commission)

What should I do next?

  1. Contact your local authority for a care needs assessment
  2. Read our information about paying for care

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Further information


Our Information guides are short and easy to digest, giving a comprehensive overview of the relevant topic. Factsheets are longer with more detail, and are aimed at professionals.

You can download other guides in our series from publications

For more information: Call Age UK Advice: 0800 678 1174

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