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4. Choosing a Care Home Provider

Help & advice

This article has been created to provide advice on what to look for and the questions you should ask when choosing a care home.

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Keeping healthy in residential care

As a person ages, keeping healthy is a main priority to help maintain a good quality of life. If you are considering a move into a residential care home, there are questions you can ask to help ensure that you stay as healthy and active as possible.

Health isn’t just about the body; it’s about the mind too. Here, we consider the key areas for maintaining health and well-being whilst living in care.

Diet

We are all aware that a good diet is essential to your health, building your immune system and keeping you fit. If you have any dietary requirements, make sure that your residential care home is aware of them and has the facilities to accommodate them with a broad range of fresh food. Ask to see a typical menu so that you can ensure there will always be something that you will enjoy and check whether the kitchen will be willing to prepare something specific should the need arise. While socialising at mealtimes is a pleasure to many people and allows for stimulating social contact, some may prefer to eat in private. This is an individual choice but if it is important to you, make sure that the care home is able to accommodate this need.

Things to ask:

• Does the care home cater for your dietary needs?

• Is food good quality, locally sourced and freshly prepared?

• Is the menu varied, with a good choice of fresh fish, meat and vegetables?

• Is there the facility to make your own food, or have your own food prepared for you?

• Is food readily available all day?

• Does the care home offer nutritional screening to ensure that all nutritional needs are met?

• Are you able to eat your meals in private, if preferred?

Mental Agility

Whatever your age, keeping your mind active is vital. Whether you enjoy playing cards, listening to music, crosswords or reading, make sure that a residential care home has plenty to keep you occupied. If eyesight is a problem, a good stock of audio books will enable you to continue reading. Trips to museums, art galleries or the theatre can help to maintain a stimulating routine; if these are a high priority, find a well located residential care home that organises trips or where you can access theatres and galleries yourself.

Things to ask:

• Is there internet access and access to computers?

• Is there a stock of books and audio books, or a library nearby?

• Are there games, such as cards, chess, scrabble readily available?

• Are newspapers delivered daily?

• Are you able to have your own television/ computer in your room?

• Does the care home organise trips?

• Are there art galleries and museums nearby?

Exercise

Exercise isn’t just about staying fit and slim; it can help to alleviate some of the difficulties of ageing, such as pain caused by osteoarthritis and osteoporosis. By keeping your body healthy you can reduce the likelihood of trips, falls and injury. Make simple resistance training part of your routine, to relieve some of the usual aches and pains associated with ageing, and to prevent injury. From using a resistance band, to yoga, swimming, walking, or simple exercises; find the exercise that you enjoy and are able to do to help keep your body strong.

Things to ask:

• Are there exercise classes in the home?

• Is there a swimming pool or gym nearby or on site?

• Will you have access to a physiotherapist or occupational therapist?

• Does the care home have grounds where you can walk?

• Is there a park nearby?

Choosing to move into a residential care home isn’t the end of your life; simply a step into a new chapter, where staff can take care of your basic day to needs so that you can focus on enjoying your life. By prioritising physical and mental wellbeing, you will be able to make sure that you can continue to enjoy living life to the full.

Trusted Care is here to help you find a residential care home near you that meets, or even exceeds, all of your needs. If you have any questions, or if you would like help finding a residential care home that suits you, please contact us.