How to find the right care home.

Simple steps to care home success.

Making the move into care, whether residential or nursing, is a significant step in anyone’s life.  The thought of moving out of your home, where you have been independent for so long, is daunting enough without having to think about finding the right home.  A home where you'll receive the right level of care, the right balance of help and independence.  Good company too, so you're surrounded by like minded individuals who just want to carry on living their lives in comfort and control.  We have put together this simple step by step guide, with the aim of making it easier for you to find the right care home.  Our suggested steps will hopefully help you make the right decision on an informed basis:


1. Financial aspects

Unfortunately, finance plays a major part in any long term care decision.  It is strongly recommended that you obtain the services of an Independent Financial Adviser who is a member of the Society of Later Life Advisers. The following three are preferred suppliers to Hampshire County Council:

2. Care Homes

The next step is to obtain a list of care homes within easy access of your current home so that friends and family can visit easily.

A number of web sites list homes such as:

3. Checklist

Choosing between homes can be difficult and having a checklist of things you want and don’t want will help you. You will find a comprehensive list of suggested questions at

4. Contacting homes

Having selected a number of possible homes, give each of them a telephone call and have an informal chat with staff. Although you are welcome to visit certain homes without a prior appointment, this first contact will allow you to book a visit at a date and time that is mutually convenient.  It's a good idea to try to meet more than one member of staff and possibly have the opportunity to chat with other residents too.

5. Visiting homes

The atmosphere of a home should be an important factor in your decision. At friendly team of dedicated staff sets new residents at their ease, staff should always be on hand to encourage independence, socialising and taking part in activities for all residents who wish to do so. The Manager or her Deputy should be available to help you by discussing options as well as allowing you a full tour of the home, its rooms and facilities.  It's also a good sign if they encourage you to stay for a meal, this will give you the opportunity to get a real feel for the place.

6. Trial periods

Once you have decided upon the home and sorted out your finances, your transition to the home can be arranged. All homes registered with the Care Quality Commission are required to treat the first 4 weeks as a trial period.

7. Settling into your new home

Although some homes provide fully furnished rooms, it's nice when residents are actively encouraged to personalise their rooms with pictures, personal items and even small items of furniture.  It's also very important that contact is maintained with friends and family, and those homes which offer a dedicated telephone number and internet connection can help facilitate this.


Author: Victoria Ward (on behalf of The Wilverley Association


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