Finding a care home
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.
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:
- adapting your home to make life easier
- getting some support at home to help you with things that are becoming difficult
- moving into sheltered housing, where you can live independently with more support on-site.
Arrange an assessment of needs with a social care professional, who will look into your needs to see what support can be provided.
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 and help you make an informed decision.
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. It’s useful to ask about the level of care provided, the fees and waiting list. Our care home checklist has a list of questions to help you research.
You can read also reviews of care homes from The Care Quality Commission, the independent regulator of health and social care in England.
Care home checklist
Our Care home checklist is a list of the key things to consider when looking for a care home.
What should I do next?
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All the information and advice we provide on the website is free and completely independent, as is our National Advice Line that is open 365 days a year.
But demand is going up. We are an ageing population and more people than ever are coming to us for support, which is why we need to ask for help.
If you are able to, just a small gift today could help us reach even more older people wherever the need is greatest.
For more information call Age UK on 0800 055 6112