7 Top Tips for Choosing a Care Home

January 12, 2018

Nial Joyce of Clifden House is keen to share his advice on what to look out for and assess when considering a care home.

This useful checklist that we have compiled can help those looking at care homes as a potential residence for their loved one. The overall message to take away is that quality of care should be a given in any registered care facility. What you should really be on the lookout for is quality of life.


  1. General healthcare provision

At some point, your loved one may need to see a healthcare professional, so it is important to establish if the care home arranges these visits either to the home itself or with a visit to a GP practice or a hospital check-up.


  1. Food and nutrition

Sampling a meal when visiting a home is often the best way to decide if the menus are balanced and nutritious with a good variety on offer. Sit down in any home and take the taste test! Doing this will also allow you to see where and how the food is prepared, and how the kitchen staff interact with the residents.


  1. Accommodation

Ask if you can view the different room options so you can assess the space available, and if there is an option to bring any of their own furniture and to decorate the room so as to make it as homely and personalised as you wish.


  1. In & around the home

Take note of how many staff are on duty. Are they friendly, caring and interacting with individual residents? If your loved one has reduced mobility, it is important to take note of accessibility around the home and grounds.


  1. Services and activities

Stimulation and an active lifestyle is key to ensuring residents can really live as full a life as possible with their dementia. Ask about activities on offer. There is so much that is still open to the individual with dementia whether music, movement, creativity, sports and many other events. It is important that residents are stimulated and also have trips out to remain part of the community.


  1. Visiting

Take a look at the surrounding area. What are the parking facilities like? Is it accessible by public transport? In some instances, it may be worth the extra travel time to ensure you find the right care home, equipped to care for your relative.

Are there set visiting times or can you can pop in whenever it suits? Enquire about the best times to visit, and if there is an option for a guest to stay overnight. 


  1. Practical issues

Most residents will have valuables they want to keep safe so ask about the security provision for this. The general security of the home should also be established. What checks are in place to stop unwanted people coming in, or residents wandering out?


Does the care home have a pet policy? Find out about this early on so you can plan what to do with a pet.

As well as monthly or weekly costs, care homes may have additional charges such as phone calls, broadband, TV licence and so on, so ask about this at every home you visit.

For the full downloadable checklist that you can print off and take with you on your visit, please call us on 01323 896460 or email office@clifdenhouse.co.uk.