You may look at several care homes before choosing the one that is right for you or your loved one.
We have put together a checklist to help you think about the care homes you visit, things to look out for and questions you may like to ask.
Location and building
- Is it easy to get to the care home on public transport?
- If you visit by car, is it easy to find somewhere to park?
- Is the approach to the care home well-kept and tidy?
- What kind of shops and amenities are there close by?
- Were you made to feel welcome?
- Are entrances and rooms in the home easily accessible?
- Is the care home clean and well looked after?
- Do the staff seem engaged and attentive?
- Do the residents appear happy?
- Do health care professionals such doctors, opticians, chiropodists and physiotherapists visit the care home?
- Are complementary therapies available?
- Does the care home have suitable equipment for people with mobility issues?
- Do the staff interact well with residents?
- Do staff respect the privacy and dignity of the residents in their care?
- Is there a key worker for each resident?
- Do staff get to know residents personally?
- Can staff be seen around the care home?
- Is the care home manager approachable?
- Do residents have a variety of communal areas to choose from?
- Do staff encourage residents to use the communal areas?
- Is there easy access to all communal areas?
- Is there an accessible and safe garden?
- Do the lounges or other sitting rooms have pleasant views?
- Are there lifts in the home?
- Can residents choose where they eat, e.g. in a dining room or in their room?
- Do residents have a choice of menu for every meal?
- Can special diets be catered for?
- Does the chef talk with the residents to discuss meal choices?
- Do residents receive assistance with eating if required?
- Can residents make drinks for themselves and have access to snacks at any time?
- What is the overall impression of the bedrooms?
- Do the bedrooms have en-suite facilities?
- Can residents bring their own furniture?
- Is there an emergency pull-cord available?
- Do staff encourage residents to continue with hobbies and interests?
- Are there dedicated activities staff?
- Do the staff organise activities outside the care home?
- Is there access to transport for activities outside the care home?
- Are special events, such as birthdays and religious holidays celebrated?
- Do the staff give residents the opportunity to help with activities within the care home, e.g. gardening or cooking?
- Do the staff arrange entertainers and groups of interest to visit?
- Do the staff give residents regular exercise opportunities?
- Do staff consult with residents on the types of activities planned?
Visits from family and friends
- Does the care home welcome visitors at any time?
- Are children allowed to visit?
- Does the care home allow family pets to visit?
- Can visitors dine with their relative/friend?