Searching for the right care home is not something any of us do every day.  Often when the time does come, it can be quite stressful and emotional for all involved. That is why it is so important for staff to remember on a day-to-day basis the trust you put in a person when they choose your home for their mother or father.

I realised this level of trust myself when choosing a nursery for my 6 month old daughter. I looked at the nursery and compared it to the one-to-one care I provided until then, and this situation is the same for many family carers.  You should first understand your needs:  There are different types of care homes, ranging from homes which provide specialist nursing or dementia care, to others which simply offer a safe and comfortable new home for people who may need a little assistance with daily life.

You consider the best location - some parents and children haven’t lived close by for years, and your parents may have strong community ties in an area where you yourself don’t live - Many will often stay in the same area to maintain these relationships. For others, moving into a care home can provide an opportunity to move closer to family or friends to make it easier for them to visit or provide additional support.

Once you have an understanding of the type of care required and the location which best meets your needs, you can start to develop a shortlist of homes. There are a number of online care home directories such as which can provide a good place to start, or you can just use a few Google searches to narrow your search.

You should reassure yourself and check on quality standards by reviewing the shortlisted homes CQC reports. The established independent regulator for care homes in England is called the Care Quality Commission. They undertake regular inspections of all care homes to ensure they meet government standards and can help identify any areas for concern. 

Arrange show rounds at the homes:  There is no better way to choose than to experience the feeling each home gives you. You can either call to book, or just walk in to feel the home at its most natural. You will get a feel for the atmosphere and the staff within the home. 

Worries about the cost of care:  The cost of care can vary depending on the level of support required, but there may well be some options available to help fund the support you need so it is always worth asking. It’s important to know your entitlements at this stage, and to ensure you discuss the costs thoroughly with each care home manager to ensure you have a full understanding of what your care will cost. We know this is one of the biggest concerns for people looking for care, so Shinfield View provides an all-inclusive fee structure to remove any worries about fees or hidden charges or extras - it is wholly transparent. 

When it comes to moving in and settling in - moving in can be the start of a positive new life but it can be a frightening and anxious time for people leaving their home of the past 50 years. It is important the home allows and encourages residents take up new hobbies or rekindle interests that weren’t possible without the help of friendly and supportive staff. They make new friends and learn new skills which enable them to live happy and fulfilling lives. 

If you'd like your questions answered about the different types of care homes, the kind of financial support you can expect to receive, or more in depth questions to ask on a show round please contact Amanda, General Manager on 0118 467 4727