Choosing the right care home for you or your loved one?

Choosing a care home is not something that should be taken lightly. Whether you’re deciding for yourself or a loved one, we understand that the process can be difficult, with so many considerations to factor in. Of course, there is a need to find the right location and an affordable price, but there is so much more to a care home than this.

A care home has to be somewhere that can truly feel like home. A place where residents are still able to get on with the things that matter to them. A place where there is the right level of support and where physical, mental and emotional needs are all considered.

Before any decision is made, it’s vital that you actually visit the care home that you have an interest in. A great time to do this is during meal times when you can get a real feel of the place and the coming together of a community. Once you’re there, here’s a look at the key questions that you need to be asking:

What does the fee cover?

Some care homes will charge a basic fee. This will generally cover your day-to-day care, your meals and things such as your laundry being taken care of. When it comes to any extras, such as hairdressing, chiropody and trips, you may find that there are additional fees to pay. It’s worth clarifying exactly what your fee does cover so that there are no surprise bills. Care homes such as ours are all-inclusive meaning that one fee covers absolutely everything.

What happens if you feel the care home isn’t right for you?

It could well be that your visits go well and that you have a good feeling about a certain care home. After moving in, you may decide that the fit isn’t quite as good as you’d thought. In these circumstances, you need to know what’s in any contract and be clear about any notice period that you may have to give to leave.

What activities are available?

A great care home makes sure that there is a range of activities for residents to get involved with. These activities are about fun but they also exist to stimulate residents, allowing them to interact and keep active.

What does the most recent CQC report say?

it’s important to take a look at the overall rating of any care home that you may be considering. As well as this, it’s also worth looking at key comments that are made as part of the report. For instance, at Oakwood House, there are mentions of how we build rapport between staff and residents, how our residents feel safe, how there is confidence in our carers and much more.

Will the care home allow you to just turn up for a visit?

When you’re still trying to decide upon a care home, you need to be sure that what you’re seeing is what life is really like. Of course, booking a visit allows you to be shown around and to be introduced to people, but unannounced visits will give you much greater insight. After your first visit, ask if an unscheduled visit would be okay. If the answer is no, it may be time to look at another care home.

What do meal times have to offer?

Any care home that you consider needs to be able to serve some great food. Not only should meals cater for all of your nutritional needs, but they should also taste amazing. Aside from the food, it’s great to see a meal time within a care home as this gives you a real flavour of how staff and residents interact and socialise together.

Are there set visiting hours?

When you’re leaving your own home, it’s vital that you’re able to see familiar faces, family and friends. Be sure to check how often visits can take place and if there are any time restrictions. At Oakwood House, we welcome visits at any time as it’s part of what keeps our residents happy.

Can I bring any of my personal possessions with me?

It’s important that your room feels like home. The presence of things such as photographs, your own radio or maybe your TV can all make your space your own and bring a feeling of comfort and security. Be sure that any care home that you’re considering allows you to bring such possessions with you. At Oakwood House, this is something that we welcome and we’ll even help you to get your room just right.

Final thoughts

When you’re searching for a care home, be sure that your research is thorough before you make a decision. As well as visiting potential care homes, you can also find reviews, comments and a whole host of other information online. The more informed you are the greater the chances that you’ll choose the care home that’s right for you.