How to choose a residential care home that is right for you
At Trusted Care, we understand that making the decision to leave your home for a residential care home is a significant life event. As well as the emotional and physical upheaval, there are practical concerns that must be addressed. Unlike nursing homes, care homes are not there to provide you with additional medical support; just a warm, welcoming environment that will offer you improved quality of life and in which you feel comfortable and at home.
Once you have made the choice to move into a residential care home, there are many decisions to make. It is crucial that you find a care home that ticks every box in respect of specialisms, facilities, location and ambience, so that you will feel happy and secure in your new home.
Establish your needs
The first step to choosing a care home is to make a list of your needs. Make a list of locations, facilities and specialisms that will make the move more comfortable for you: you may want a home with gardens; where you can bring pets; or that has an active social scene. Your list of requirements will be unique to you and will help you to eliminate unsuitable care homes.
Do the research
Once you know what you are looking for, you can research the care homes in your area that will provide you with what you want. You can do this research online and ask friends and relatives for their advice and opinions to help you to create a shortlist of potential residential care homes that could be right for you.
For an overview of the standards of care in your county simply search for your location using Trusted Care’s Care Map, where you can view the CQC rating of individual care providers and the average cost of care in your region.
Know your care budget
Finding out about care home funding can be confusing as there are different elements of funding for nursing care, personal care, and accommodation. The amount of funding that a person is entitled to is assessed on an individual basis and will depend on the levels of care that they need, as well as their financial situation. Funding comes from a range of sources: the NHS (for nursing care), the Local Authority (for personal care) and the Department for Work and Pensions (for income that comes under the benefits system, such as attendance and care allowance and Pension Credit). Sometimes a person’s full care home fees will be covered by funding, but often an individual will need to pay some, or all, of their residential care home fees.
There are a number of voluntary organisations who are on hand to give free guidance on funding entitlement and applications; it is wise to get a good idea of your financial situation before choosing a residential care home, to avoid the disappointment of setting your heart on a particular home only to find you can’t afford it.
Arrange a visit
Call your shortlisted care homes to ask any questions you may have and make an appointment to visit. This call will give you a first impression of the home, the communication skills and professionalism of its staff. At Trusted Care, we recommend that you visit a home at least once before making your decision or ruling it out; after all, you wouldn’t choose to buy or rent a house without first visiting it!
Your visit will give you the opportunity to meet the staff and the other people living in the home, to see the accommodation and get a good idea of how the home feels to you. If you have any questions or specific needs, make a list beforehand and don’t be afraid to ask!
On hand to help
At Trusted Care, we appreciate that every person is unique, so finding a residential care home that meets all of your needs may not always be easy. We are here to help. Our online directory allows you to search for, and create a shortlist of care homes that meet your needs. If, however, you would like assistance, just let us know what you are looking for and we will help put you in touch with residential care homes near you that meet your needs. If you have any questions, or would like help finding the right residential care home for you, please contact us.