Make sure you know what you are looking for
It is important to know what the person you care for needs if they move into a care home. As a carer you will probably have a very good idea what the person you care for will need from a care home. However, it doesn't hurt to get a second opinion and find out more about what might be available that you might not know about.
Make sure the person your care has had an assessment from the local council as this will help identify the sort of support they need, and what if the council can help with this. It is a good idea to do this even if they are going to have to pay for a care home themselves (self-funding).
Remember that there are lots of different types of care home and it is important to chose the right one.
Do your research
Once you know what type of care home you are looking for do some research to find a suitable one in the area you would like. Have a look online, ask friends if they recommend any homes, send for brochures and look at their care home inspection ratings.
You can also search for care homes online and see what other people thought about them:
- Your care rating – see results from the 2014 survey of customers in England, Wales and Scotland.
- Carehome.co.uk offers an online search of care homes and reviews in the UK (including Northern Ireland).
- Find care homes with nursing on NHS Choices includes some user ratings (England only).
- Find care homes without nursing on NHS Choices includes some user ratings (England only).
- Bettercaring - offers a search of all residential and nursing homes in the England, Wales and Scotland.
- You can also ask your local carer service or local council for help finding a suitable home.
Have a look round the care home
You should visit the care home to see if you, and the person you care for, like it. Try to drop in without making an appointment to see what the care home is really like.
Make sure you ask lots of questions. Age UK have a checklist that you could use when you visit care homes to help you decide if they would be suitable. See finding a care home on Age UK. This short video from Age UK says more about how to find a good care home:
Next update due: June 2017