Choosing the best care home

Not all choices in life are easy ones to make, and sometimes we are forced to take difficult decisions. When choosing a care home for yourself or a loved one, you should go through the process properly and carefully consider the options available.

Every year, many families have to take such a decision. It’s often a painful process borne out of love and a deep concern for the welfare of the individual. But if welfare is kept at the very core of the process, to ensure that everyone concerned is happy with the final decision, the outcome should be a positive one.

A loss of independence can be a shock to the system and unfamiliar surroundings may seem daunting at first, but there are advantages with round-the-clock care available within a safe environment.

These tips may help you make the best choice for you and your family.

Discuss

Discussions about all aspects of care are essential, so cover everything. Talk to your GP and your local authority and take advice.

Finances

The rules surrounding the provision of care are complex, so seek advice on funding for care services. A great source of relevant information is Age UK.

History

You can access the inspection reports of local care homes by looking at the Care Quality Commission in England. In Wales look at the Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales and in Northern Ireland see the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority.

Locality

Is the home to be local and close to friends and family for regular visiting? Ensure that you will be able to receive visitors to maintain communication with friends and family.

Activities

Does the home offer a range of social and interactive activities? Many care homes will organise things like tailored exercise classes, arts and crafts classes as well as outings and excursions.

Trial

Can you stay a few days as a trial? Many care homes actually require residents to complete a trial period, which is ideal for both parties.

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