Having to choose a home for you or a loved one is one of the most important things you will do and getting this right is key to a comfortable life in your later years.

We have set out, below, in detail, the 5 steps that you need to go through to choose a home that is perfect for you or a loved one.  We have also produced a help 2 minute video that guides you through the key 5 steps.   Once you have done this, you can use our care home search facility to look for care homes in your local area.

Our five steps, which are provided in more detailed below, to help you choose a home are broadly broken down as follows:

1) Identify what type of care do you need

When you choose a home there are a range of different areas that care homes often specialise in.  The most popular is residential care.  This is where your you or a loved one will become a resident in the care home.   When you do choose a home, you should consider whether it is important that 24hr nursing care is available.  This may be necessary if you have a medical condition. Beyond this there are homes that provide dementia care, respite care and palliative care.

2) Research and short-list potential homes

When you begin the process to choose a home, you will find yourself facing a myriad of choices.  Therefore, it is important that you think about what the most essential things are for you or a loved one.  For example, when you choose a home, is location important – e.g. does the home have to be near family or a particular location.  Other areas that we suggest you focus on when you choose a home is the care home facilities, communal facilities etc.  Please see the Step 2 below for more information.

3) Check the standard of your short-listed care home

Care homes are now regularly reviewed and inspected by the Care Quality Commission.  Therefore, when you choose a home, it is important that you research the results of the inspection and consider this deciding on which care homes you want to visit or research further.

4) Visit the short-listed homes

One you have decided which care homes you want to shortlist, we strongly recommend that you arrange a visit.  This will allow you to meet the staff and management.  When you do choose a home, we think its essential that you get comfortable with the people that you or your loved one’s will be spending time with.  In addition, whilst you are at the care home, you should use this time to have a look at the facilities and also speak to other residents if you can.

5) Work out how much your care home will cost

This is often a difficult area, as you and your loved one’s begin to understand the cost impact of moving in tour chosen care home.  When you do choose a home, it is essential that you understand what financial help is available to you, and what you will be required to pay when you choose a home of your choice.  We have helped to make this difficult process as simple as possible to understand, and you can get more information here:

  • Continuing Health Care – Here we set out whether you may entitled to the NHS meeting the costs of your care, and in particular if you choose a home of your choice.
  • Claiming State Benefits Make sure you claim all the benefits that you are entitled to, as there will e an assumption you are in receipt of what you are entitled to when assessment of your financial affairs is made.
  • How much will you need to spend on your care fees We have produced a handy care fees calculator to help you estimate the costs of moving in to a care home in your local area.  When you begin the process to choose a home, you will start to see that the costs can range from £450 to over £800 per week.
  • How you can meet your care fees – There are 6 primary ways in which you can pay the fees of your chosen care home.  We have set the pros and cons out and when it comes to choose a home, you can decide which of the payment options will work best for you.