Finding the right care home for a loved one can be overwhelming. You want to make sure that your loved one is comfortable. Knowing they are well taken care of and in a homey environment will give you peace of mind.

There are a couple of things that you need to be aware of in order to provide the best care and environment for your loved one.

In this article, we’ve boiled it down to seven things that you and your loved one would want to consider before deciding on the right care home.

7 things to consider before choosing a care home:

1. Cost and Fees

An important factor when picking a care home would be to account for if it’s right for your budget. It is also crucial to know how you are going to be billed, as each care home provider is different.

You can clarify this with the care home. Determine the cost and ask if the billing will be monthly or annually. They usually state these in the contract. You certainly don’t want hidden or additional charges along the way.

A good care home provides transparent information and lets you know when and how you should pay. They must be upfront and clear to you, especially with costs and fees.

2. Contract

In connection with cost and fees, it is important to read and understand the contract. It is a critical part of your relationship with the care home. This will also protect you and your loved one in the event things go sideways with the care home.

This is where you need to ask a lot of questions. Inquire if there will be additional fees if the needs and preferences of your loved one change.

By signing the contract, you agree to the terms and conditions that the care home sets for you and your loved one. So be thorough and consult your attorney before signing if you need to.

3. Location/Accessibility

Location is essential when selecting a care home, especially when you frequently visit. Your ideal location for the care home can help save time and money. 

Ask yourself if you and your loved one prefer a place that is in the city or the countryside. Do you think your loved one would prefer a care home with a pleasant view and is quiet?

Some care homes, like the Northcare suites in Edinburgh have private gardens, which include a variety of features such as a play park for visiting children, BBQ patio, and many more.

Have a sit down with your loved one and ask them what they’d like to have in a care home. Create a list as it makes it easier to track.

4. Care and Staff

Now that you’ve taken the location into consideration, making sure that a care home has adequate staff to assist its residents is vital. This allows the residents to be taken care of properly and ensures that they meet all their needs.

Know the needs of your loved one. This way, you can use them as factors in deciding the care home suitable for them.

It is also a good idea to visit the care home and see if the staff looks happy. You want to be sure that they interact with the residents and that they’re respectful.

There are cases that your loved one maintains a set of medications. It is key that the staff is there to assist. In some care homes, they usually assign a named staff member to each resident.

5. Accommodation

Going on a tour around the care home helps you make a sound decision. Pay attention to the facilities such as toilets, the room your loved one will stay in, the bathroom, and other areas of the care home.

For instance, what do they include in the room? Is there a telephone, television, radio, internet access and enough storage space? 

Find out what your loved one needs in their room to help make a more sound decision. 

Be mindful of the different areas in the care home. Aside from staff, check if there are railings to assist your loved one in moving from one place to another.

Also, it is imperative that you ask if they allow visitors and if there is a specific time frame for visiting. For those pet lovers out there, inquire if they accept pets as well.

Ultimately, your loved one should feel at home. Their environment and the things they surround themselves with can help them be in a happy and healthy state.

6. Food

Speaking of a happy and healthy state, having a healthy and balanced diet plays a significant role in this aspect. 

Get to know what the care home serves daily. Does the food meet the nutritional needs of your loved one? 

Do they have an in-house chef? Is there a set menu for each day of the week? 

Inform the staff if there are foods that your loved one should avoid. If your loved one has some preferences, write them down and inquire about the care home if they can serve them.

7. Daily Life & Activities

Under Regulation 9 of the Health and Social Care Act (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014, care homes must provide each resident with suitable care and treatment depending on their evaluated needs and preferences. 

This includes daily activities which care homes must provide for their residents. Some care homes, like Northcare suites in Edinburgh allow their residents to invite their friends and family over for special occasions.

Not only does this keep the residents engaged, but it also entertains them. There are mental and physical benefits to it as well. 

Having taken all these into account, be sure to keep a list of the care homes you’ve visited. In doing so, you get to find the best deal and place.

You and your loved one have a set of priorities for deciding on the right care home. Use that as your guiding light with all the information you have collected.  

Sources:

  1. Age Cymru | We are the national charity for older people in Wales.
  2. How to decide if a care home is right for you
  3. Choosing a Care Home: 15 Questions to Ask Care Homes When Visiting – Fulford Nursing Home
  4. Five things to consider when choosing a care home | Healthwatch
  5. Choosing the right care home | Independent Age
  6. How to choose the right care home | Age UK
  7. Finding A Care Home In 2021: Questions to ask – carehome.co.uk advice
  8. Choosing a care home