Choosing a care home for your loved one can seem like a momentous decision, and, consequently, one that may feel a little overwhelming.

In the circumstance, it’s easy to become mired in indecision as you ponder the seemingly myriad options out there.

To facilitate an easier process, it’s important to define just what it is you’re looking for. Establishing set parameters for your search will ensure that your eventual choice is the one that’s right for your loved one.

But where to start? Let’s look at some of the basics to help you begin.

 

The right level of care

Care homes differ in what they offer. Some deliver a range of care options, while others specialise in a particular type. You need to determine the level of care that’s appropriate for your loved one, before going on to corroborate that the care home in question provides the level they need.

It is also important to think about how care needs will evolve over time. Choosing a dual registration nursing home such as Goatacre Manor Care means that your loved one can receive outstanding care for every stage/whatever their needs. An individual who initially comes to us for residential care, if struggling to manage their needs at home, or for respite care, to recover from an operation or illness, would not need to change home if their needs escalate to 24-hour nursing care. Changing home is very distressing and a dual registration home helps minimises any detrimental impact for both the individual and their family when their needs evolve.

 

The quality of facilities and activities

It may sound somewhat obvious, but an essential part of a good care home is the quality of the facilities. Ensure that any potential home has sufficient amenities and, above all, the ones that are right for your loved one. Activities also play a large part in the care home experience – residents need to be motivated and engaged, so look out for those that go further in delivering a range of pursuits and undertakings to occupy residents. Don’t forget food, either. A care home that offers a varied menu of good quality food is an important differentiator to consider.

We pride ourselves on the quality of our facilities at Goatacre, as well as the activities that we offer residents, and would invite anyone interested to come and visit us – another important part of the search process. Visiting a prospective care home is a must.

 

A homely and inviting atmosphere

This is something that’s often underemphasised during the search. It’s very easy to focus on the quality of the facilities – something that’s undeniably important – while overlooking the basic ambience of a home. In order to determine this element, you need to place yourself in the shoes of your loved one. Would you like to live there? A care home is just that after all; a home. Make sure that the environment feels sufficiently homely. Too sterile an environment isn’t conducive to wider wellbeing, so you need to find the right balance between a professional institution and a relaxing residence.

It’s also worth bearing in mind whether the care home is independently run or part of a larger chain. Independents often benefit from a greater sense of pride in their offering, which tends to mean they’re willing to go above and beyond for their residents, delivering a more personal approach. Another benefit is improved staff retention. Many of the larger care home operators shift staff between facilities, something that can disrupt the bond between residents and carers.

 

Regular staff training

A care home might have wonderful facilities, but a true reflection of a good care home is its staff. A poorly run establishment, with inadequately trained and indifferent carers, could have serious repercussions on your loved one’s quality of life.

People usually embark on a career in care following a desire to help others, and while that’s an essential element, you need to ensure they understand the needs of residents and deliver the appropriate care, while following the relevant guidelines and regulations. Key to this is a culture of training and personal development. Ensure that staff are regularly trained to keep their capabilities fine-tuned and in line with the latest care standards.

 

Check their reviews

The Care Quality Commission is an independent regulator for the industry, which conducts inspections to determine the level of care on offer, while setting out observations as to how it can be improved. Make sure you’re aware of the CQC’s findings for the care home in question.

When considering CQC rating, it’s important to recognise that good is in fact very good, and that any care home with good as a rating will be certain to deliver a high standard of care.

However, another excellent place to gain an appreciation for the quality of a care home is via www.carehome.co.uk. This is an independent review site, which showcases resident and family reviews, allowing you to get an external view of a care home’s offering from those who have lived and experienced it long-term.