How to choose a care home for your loved one

We help you choose a care home for your loved one by giving you some tips on things to look out for.

When you visit a care home for the first time, it can be difficult to make an assessment about the quality of care provided. What you see, what you hear and what you feel will influence your overall impression, but what are the most important things to look for?

1. Is the care home welcoming and inviting?

A great care home should support you in caring for your loved one. You should be greeted warmly by staff, introduced to any important support staff and feel reassured and informed. The care home should look clean and homely. Entry requirements and fees must be clearly explained, and any menus and activities should be on display so you can understand what is being offered. At the end of the visit you should feel that your loved one will be treated as an individual and their needs will be acknowledged.

2. What does the atmosphere feel like?

When viewing care homes, look around to see if people look relaxed, happy, comfortable and well cared for. Good care homes should support residents with their daily life while maintaining their dignity. This means consulting with them on their preferences (e.g. food, drinks, activities or cultural and religious preferences).

Good care homes should support residents with their daily life while maintaining their dignity.

Elderly woman with flower

3. How engaged are the residents?

A great care home will provide opportunities for residents to enjoy activities independently and with others e.g. knitting, puzzles or gardening. These should be suited to residents’ personal interests and relatives or friends should be encouraged to help and support activities. Events like birthdays and anniversaries should be celebrated, as should any date or event that is significant and meaningful to that person.

4. How do staff interact with residents and families?

You should feel that the residents are treated with dignity and respect, and acknowledged as individuals by the care home. Staff should be attentive and supportive, and be available to talk to both residents and their families. Interactions by staff should reflect a genuine relationship and respect for the person.

5. Is it easy to get around?

As you move through the care home, make note of whether it is easy to find your way around the building. A good home should be accessible for all levels of mobility, have clear signage and provide secure outdoor areas. There should be private, quiet areas and spaces that support people living with dementia.

6. Does it feel like a community?

It is important that residents feel like they are part of a community, with events, outings and plenty of interaction with visitors and volunteers. A good care home will feel like an active part of the wider neighbourhood. There should be dedicated areas for events or for play, where games or animal visits can be hosted.

Choosing a care home for your loved one can be a difficult process, but if you know the key factors to look for you can feel confident you are making the right decision. For more information and to help you prepare, visit Bupa Aged Care.

Bupa Aged Care

Bupa Aged Care, offers a full range of care including respite, residential and specialised dementia care.

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