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Finding a care home

People in 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:

Arrange an assessment of needs with a social care professional, who will look into your needs to see what support can be provided.

How to arrange an assessment of needs

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.

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.

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 Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA), the independent body responsible for monitoring and inspecting the availability and quality of health and social care services in Northern Ireland.

Read care home reviews on the RQIA website

What should I do next?

Age NI Advice Service

Every year our Advice Service deals with thousands of calls from older people in need. Call us today to make sure that you are receiving all the help and support available to you.

Call freephone 0808 808 7575
Monday - Friday 9am – 5pm 

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Last updated: Jan 16 2024

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