Top tips for deciding on a care home

Here are some pointers that will help you decide as a family about the right care home for your loved one.

  1. Before choosing the right nursing home, you must decide on the right type of care your loved one will need at this time but be careful as his / her care needs may change. Talk to their health care professionals and get some advice on how to pay for care.

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  1. The internet is the ideal place to get the best information about the types of care homes available in your area.
  2. Select more than one or two. It is always useful to visit more than a couple.
  3. Do not call before your first visit.
  4. When you first enter, check if the care home has security monitoring at the exit and turn up unannounced – if you call in advance, you can be sure they will prepare. On a positive note, home care can be very busy and turning up without an appointment can be annoying for them to provide care for existing users of their services.
  5. Entrance – Does it smell? Otherwise this could indicate they do not attend to vulnerable clients as quickly as they should, and this should raise alarms. A clean home is a reflection of the excellent management.
  6. Check to see if the seating is in a circle and try to see if there is any activity and interaction going on between carers and residents. Ask if there is an activities coordinator. If there is no such activity coordinator, do the staff get time to conduct meaningful activities with the residents?
  7. Check comments / visitors’ book. There must be comments or reviews from former families and if not, ask why?
  8. Ask about home care agency staff. How often do they use agency staff?
  9. Are you able to visit any time of the day or night?

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  1. Are staff trained on the job or just online? If your loved one has dementia, it is important to understand the complexity of this condition and will the staff be equipped to handle it? For Dementia Care Homes Taunton, visit a site like
  2. If your loved one has ‘challenging behaviour’ re dementia, such as crying, swearing, becoming depressed for a certain time, are they trained to understand this?
  3. Check out the CQC report rating before you make a decision. Although it is not guaranteed at all times, the risk will be less if you choose a home care with a good or outstanding rating by the CQC.
  4. Trust your instincts. If you do not want to live there why would your loved one?
  5. Note that a strong manager would want to be open and transparent and eager to work with you as a family. Show them you want to be involved and to make them realize you are the first point of call if something happens to your loved one under their care. The best care home managers will be keen to find out about your loved one – such as their likes / dislikes.

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