Back to Top

Finding A Care Home

Types Of Care Home

Choosing a care home is an important decision, you should never feel rushed or pressurised when researching care homes and if you're searching for a family member, your loved one should always be involved in the process. The home must have everything you or your relative need, be in a suitable location and be at an affordable price.

What to consider

  • Work out your budget and research costs.

  • Shortlist suitable care homes that provide the type of care you require, this might be residential care, nursing care or specialist care for a specific illness or disability.

  • There's a transparent, unbiased care search tool on

  • Request further information, statement of purpose and pricing details from the care homes on your shortlist.

  • Check reviews of the care homes on

  • Check the regulatory authority’s reports – there are links to the reports on the profile pages on

    Visit the care homes on your shortlist.

  • Spend some time looking around the care home and talking to the manager, as well as staff and residents.

Limited choice

Unfortunately, not everyone will have a wide range of care homes to choose from and it is important to be aware that choices might be limited.

care home resident

Once you've got a care home in mind

Request a copy of the care homes contracts and terms and conditions.

Make sure the care home has vacancies or find out how long their waiting list is.

Research additional costs that may not be covered in your residential fees, such as medical aids, professional visits, occupational therapists, hairdressers, chiropodists and day trips.

Once you've got the advice you need, we've created a free to use, transparent, unbiased Care supplier search

Compare Care

What to ask yourself and the care home staff

First impression

Does the home feel inviting, homely and would you want to live there?

Is the care home and grounds well maintained?

Are the rooms attractive and well decorated?

Are staff welcoming and approachable?


Is the care home in a good location?

Is the care home easily reached by public transport?

Does the care home have places to park your car?

Is the care home in a noisey area?

What are the views like from the home?

Is the care home near any shops?

Does the care home look after people with an illness or disability?

Is there wheelchair access in all areas of the care home, including wide doorways?

Is there a lift?

Are there accessible toilets available in all parts of the care home and easy to get to?

Do toilets have handrails, raised seats and other mobility aids?


What type of care does the care home provide?

Are any of the staff trained in specific areas of care?

Does the care home have equipment and facilities for people with an illness or disability?

Does the care home have access to other services, like opticians or dentist or community mental health teams?

Does the home link with a specific GP practice for residents to use?

What happens if a resident becomes unwell or requires medication?

Can a relative stay overnight?

Are changes in medication discussed with the family?

Are staff supportive and empathetic  in helping a resident with their personal needs?

What support is given to family members?


Are staff available at all times throughout the care home?

Is there a manager in post and a senior member of staff on duty at all times?

Do staff interact well with residents?

Do staff respect the privacy and dignity of the residents in their care?

How will staff get to know residents on a personal level?

Do staff take into account cultural and religious beliefs?

How often do staff receive training?

Don't Get Screwed

Your'e not booking a week in Greece

Ask awkward questions, check reviews, ask to see several rooms, check CQC score, sample the food, ask about activities and facilities

Some care homes are rubbish

If in doubt, walk away

Day to Day

Can the care home residents choose their daily routine, like when they get up, go to bed, have meals or go out?

Can care home residents choose whether they have a bath or shower and how often?

Can the care home residents choose which clothes to wear?

Can residents go outside for fresh air when needed?

Do the care staff seem engaged and attentive?

Do the care home residents appear happy and occupied?

Do residents have access to internet and telephone points around the care home?

Do all the care home bedrooms have a television, telephone points and Wi-Fi?

Does the care home arrange activities and visits into the local community, including places of worship?

The building

What is the overall impression of the bedroom?

Do the care home bedrooms have en-suite facilities, or bathing facilities close by?

Are the facilities in the bedroom/bathroom accessible for residents, including a disabled resident?

Can residents bring their own furniture and personalise their bedroom in the care home?

Are there single-sex facilities?

Does the bedroom have a telephone point or Wi-Fi connection?

Is there an emergency pull-cord?

Is there adequate storage space?

Can pets stay in the bedroom of the care home?

Do the care home staff respect the residents' right to privacy?

Are there plenty of communal areas to choose from?

Is there easy access to all communal areas?

Does the care home have an accessible and safe garden?

Do the lounges and dining areas have pleasant views?

Are the communal areas arranged to encourage the residents to socialise?

Are toilet facilities within easy reach of the communal areas?



Which is the main meal of the day at the care home?

Is the food prepared on the premises?

Does the care home have an on-site chef?

Can the care home residents choose where they eat, whether it be in a dining room or in their own room?

Do the care home residents have a choice of menu?

Does the chef/cook talk with the residents to discuss meal choices?

How often is the menu changed in the care home?

Are there opportunities to eat out or get food delivered?

Can dietary and cultural requirements be catered for?

Can the care home residents receive assistance with eating if required?

Do the care home residents have access to snacks at any time?

Can visitors visit the care home during meal times and can they have meals?

Can the care home residents make food and drinks for themselves?


Does the care home welcome visitors at any time?

Are there any restrictions on visiting times or number of visitors?

Are there facilities for visitors to stay overnight in the care home?

Where can residents spend time with their visitors?

Are relatives encouraged to become involved in the daily activities at the care home?

Can visitors accompany residents on outings and trips?

Are children welcome to visit the care home?

Does the care home allow family pets to visit?


Are care home residents encouraged to continue with their hobbies and interests?

Do staff plan with residents on the types of activities planned?

Does the care home have activity coordinators?

Do staff give residents the opportunity to help with activities within the care home, such as gardening or cooking?

Do staff arrange entertainers and groups of interest to visit the care home?

Can care home residents attend events/activities in the local community?

Are there accessible vehicles to transport care home residents?

Are special events, such as birthdays and religious holidays celebrated in the care home?

Do staff give care home residents regular exercise opportunities?

care home residents

Contracts and Fees

Can care home residents stay for a trial period?

Can residents see a copy of the care home’s terms and conditions?

What are the care home's annual/monthly fees?

Is there a membership fee payable for staying at the care home?

What is included in the fee and what may be charged as 'extras'?

Are fees paid in advance or arrears in the care home?

How much notice will be given for fee increases?

What arrangements are there for handling personal money in the care home?

What happens if a resident is unhappy with the care home once they've moved in?

Safety and security

What safety and security measures are in place to keep care home residents safe?

What measures are taken to reduce the risk of falls in the care home?

What call systems are in place if a resident needs help?

Is the care home safe inside and in the surrounding areas, including the garden?

What safeguards are in place for day trips?

Is care home information readily shared with families?

If you've got this far down the page - well done!

Why not try our no bull, care supplier search

Compare Care