1st May 2015

A step by step guide to finding the best care home - Part 2

First impressions.

Don’t make an appointment when you visit, turn up unannounced.
As you walk into the care home for the first time - how does it feel? Does it feel welcoming and comfortable.
Who is on reception or there to welcome you?
As you are shown around is residents privacy respected, are doors knocked on before a room is entered and are residents asked permission before you enter their room?
Watch how the staff interact with residents - are they just ‘doing their job’ or talking to and engaging with residents.
In the communal areas - are chairs in clusters for groups to gather and talk in, or set around the outside of the room. Is the TV on all the time. What other activities are available in the communal rooms.
Talk to other residents to see what they are doing.

Don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions, make notes and take photos (this should be fine if you don’t include residents in the photo), of the homes you are visiting.

Now that my husband is beginning to settle into his care home, I wanted to write and thank you for all your help and expertise in finding a suitable care home for him at a time when I was finding life very difficult. I do not think I could have managed without you. I appreciated your practical support in organising all the visits and even return visits with other members of my husband’s family. Your knowledge of how to assess a home and to know what to look for in any assessment cut out hours of my time trying to understand reports, particularly at a time when I could not think straight. Your understanding of my emotional situation was a real blessing. Although the care home we chose is not in my immediate neighbourhood, I am still convinced that it suits his needs and he will settle in well to this new environment. To find an expert in the unchartered waters of care homes at a time of personal distress was wonderful. Very many thanks. With every good wish