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How To: Pick a Residential Care Home

If you or a loved one requires residential care, there are a number of factors to consider before making any final decisions. Your choice of new home can influence the person’s experience and their satisfaction levels, so getting it right is hugely important.

Type of Care

When deciding on a care home, think about the type of care the person will need. Everyone has different requirements, and ensuring these are met is crucial. In particular, consider if the person going into the home needs personal care or nursing care. If the person has specific health issues, make sure that the care home is equipped to manage these.

Choice of Home

The home you choose will depend on whether you intend to privately fund the care or go down the local authority route and seek financial assistance for the care. If you decide to pay yourself, there are more residential care homes to pick from. Social services will need to carry out a needs assessment if you choose local authority residential homes.

Do Your Research

Choosing the right care home makes a big difference, so always do your research beforehand. Find out what others think of the home by reading online reviews, and take a look at the current inspection report of the home. Don’t just rely on reading the care home’s marketing brochure – seek unbiased opinions before making any decisions.

Staff Care

It’s important that the person going into the home is well cared for by staff who are fully trained to deal with any of their personal care or health issues. Check staff credentials before choosing a care home, and look for an establishment that only employs high-calibre staff.

Pay a Visit

When choosing residential care, a visit to the home will prove invaluable. Speak to staff and get a feeling of how welcoming and comfortable the environment seems. Do staff seem helpful? Do other residents look well cared for and happy? First impressions are important, so take everything on board that you see. Find out if the home offers any trial visits so that potential new residents can get a flavour of the place before they fully commit.


Residential homes should offer more than just a pleasant environment to stay: they need to meet your practical requirements, too. Pick a home that is well located so that friends and family can easily visit. Ask about visiting times, and only choose a home with visiting arrangements that suit your situation. How much say will you have in the care of your loved one who is staying at the home? If having input is important to you, select a home that involves loved ones in any decision-making.

Safety Concerns

Residential care homes need to adhere to safety standards and codes of conduct, so choose an establishment that puts this at the top of their agenda. A home that is transparent in the way it operates and puts the welfare of its residents first is an encouraging sign.

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