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A Family Guide to Choosing Care

It is emotional and confusing when you’re looking for the right care home.

To help with the selection process, we've put together a short family guide. The guide is designed to be a helpful overview of the key points to consider when choosing a care home.

Start by following these Three Simple Steps to Choosing a Care Home:

1. Do your Research

Don’t just look on the web. Talk to professionals, talk to other people who’ve gone through the same thing and make a shortlist of the homes you want to visit. Talk to Gracewell if you need guidance.

2. Understand the Financial Implications

How much does it cost to live in a care home? How long is a piece of string? Everyone’s needs are different, and this is reflected in the cost. We can’t give you a price unless we know more about the needs of you or your loved one. And we can’t do that unless we talk. So, get in touch. It puts you under no obligation to go any further and you benefit from our knowledge of the cost of care in your area. We can also provide general information on the different methods of providing care, although we always recommend you talk to an independent financial advisor.

3. Visit and Compare Care Homes

We’re always happy to see you at any Gracewell care home and to show you around. Yet, you’d be surprised how many people simply don’t have time to consider the options. Our checklist of useful questions could help.



A Family Guide to Finding Great Care

Use this guide to assess which care home is right for you.

1. Obtain an assessment from medical professionals or social services
Whether you are self-funded or not, it is always worth talking to your local Social Services as the assessment and information they can provide are likely to be very helpful in your decision-making.

2. Identify the best possible location for you and your family
For some people it’s important to live close to their loved ones, in order to make regular visits easier. Is the care home easily accessible, by road and train? Are there shops and other facilities nearby?

3. Meeting cultural, social, religious and ethnic needs
Another key element of selection is finding not only the right community of people that you will be comfortable living with on a day-to-day basis, but also one that can accommodate your dietary requirements or ethnic and religious beliefs.

4. Focus on personal care
This is arguably a critical issue: what are your expectations regarding the level of personal care? To what degree is the care truly person-centred? What is the ratio of carer:resident that you are comfortable with? Does the care home create bespoke lifestyle arrangements or are residents expected to adapt to a general routine?

5. Keeping active and involved
How active a lifestyle would you like to pursue? What facilities, programmes and event calendars are in place? Are residents expected to follow and participate in everything or to what degree can they create their own individual activity programme with like-minded people?

6. Level of independence
What is the care philosophy, both in theory and in practice? How does the care home maximise independence for residents? What evidence is there that people are being fully supported to lead as independent a life as possible? Can residents come and go as they please? How accommodating is the care home about residents making personal arrangements for trips, events and family activities?

7. Excellent communications
What is the type and level of communication between staff, residents, families and the community? How do people talk to each other: is it always an open door policy, with multiple avenues of communication open? How flexible is the care home about your communication preferences?

A Family Care Home Visit Checklist

In order to help you when visiting or choosing a care home, use our 5-Step Gracewell Healthcare family checklist.

Useful Links

There are lots of other sources of information. Use these quick links to find out more.

Or find your local care home for more information: Find A Care Home.