What Should I Look For In A Care Home?

Health

Your home should be a comfortable, happy and a safe place to live, and that applies to your care home too. You need to have a good think about what is important to you – your wellbeing and needs.

When you find a care home that looks and sounds suitable, you must make sure you visit it more than once. Make sure to find out as much information as you can about Devon care homes to help you to make a decision whether it’s the right home for you.

Here are some suggestions for a number of things that you might want to find out when you are visiting the care home.

First impressions

How does the building, rooms and ground look and feel – is it well maintained?

Is there an accessible outdoor space for residents and their visitors?

Do the staff seem welcoming and knowledgeable?

Does the building look clean and does it smell fresh?

How are the rooms temperature?

Accessibility

Are your friends and family able to get there quite easily and what times are visitors welcome?

Are there enough parking spaces for visitors?

Is there suitable wheelchair access into and also within the building?

  • Staff

Do the staff build relationships with the residents?

Is there a manager in or a senior member of staff on duty 27/4?

What is the ratio of staff to residents during the day, at night and weekends?

Can residents choose if they can have either a male or female carer?

What training does the staff have – how often and by whom?

Are all staff trained in caring for residents with illnesses such as dementia?

Is there a high staff turnover?

  • Security, privacy, additional assistance

What security arrangements are in place to make sure residents are kept safe?

Is there a call-bell system?

Does the home have signs or images to show where things are or how to use things?

Can residents choose their own routine, i.e. when they get up and go to bed?

Can staff make sure residents clothing etc. don’t get mixed up between residents?

Can residents bring their own belongings and furniture?

Are there secure storage facilities in the residents bedrooms?

Do you have your own private bathroom and bedroom?

  • Food and beverages

Do residents have to all eat together, or can you choose to eat in your room?

Is there a varied choice of food and do you see sample menus?

How often does the menu change?

Are snacks available – and if so when?

Is all the food prepared on the premises?

Are residents and visitors allowed to make their own drinks?

If there facilities for residents to store food in their room?

  • Social

Are residents encouraged to stay active?

Do the residents seem happy and well-occupied?

Are there lounges or social areas with furniture to allow small groups to socialise?

Do staff interact with residents i.e read to those with sight impairment, sit with residents talking?

Is the building pet friendly?

What type of activities/equipment are there – radio, quiet spaces, TV room, newspapers/books, shared computers, internet reception or beauty services?

Does the care home have regular social activities i.e. book club, exercise classes, gardening etc?

  • Fees and costings

How much does the care home cost – is it clear how the fees are structured, calculated and then collected?

Are fees reviewed each year?

If it’s a nursing home, how are NHS-funded nursing care payments accounted for in the fee structure?

Are extra items or services not covered by the basic fees clearly identified and accounted for?

Are any fees payable after a resident’s death?

Just like buying a house, choosing a care home requires research, visits and essentially whether you can see yourself living there. So make sure you choose the right one.