Before you start visiting any care home ensure the following:

  • Is the property in the right location?
  • Is the price range compatible with your budget?
  • Does the care home offer the facilities which are important to you?
  • Does it have a star rating?
  • Does it have independent validation?

Once you have received the brochures make a shortlist of the homes that meet your criteria, telephone the manager and ask any additional relevant questions including:

  • Does the home encourage a trial period/holiday?
  • Can you furnish your own room?
  • What care is included?
  • Are there any hidden costs?

If the questions are answered to your satisfaction, arrange a time to visit the home. This gives you an opportunity to ask more questions and access the atmosphere. Whilst you are there ask for a copy of their 'Statement of Purpose' to take home to read. This describes in detail the care and services the care home provides.


A trial stay is the best way to get the feel of the home and to speak to residents and staff. It can also provide answers to questions that may otherwise be difficult to assess by a short visit, for example:

  • Is there a friendly atmosphere within the home?
  • Are residents treated with dignity and respect?
  • Is the home well run?
  • Do staff have a positive approach to age?
  • Are mealtimes to your enjoyment?
  • Is there a suitable activities programme?
  • Are residents empowered to run their own lives with their own routines?

If the trial period is successful you will be able to make an informed decision on your future choices.
Finding the correct home allows you to prepare for the future care options positively.

Once you are happily settled in your new home, you may find you have more energy to enjoy and pursue your hobbies and interests without worrying about domestic chores.