Checklist for selecting a care home for your loved ones

When selecting a care home for your elderly relative, it is imperative that more than one person from the family (if available) views the care home – as it can reduce the level of emotion involved in the selection process. It is a challenging and difficult time to consider moving a loved one into a residential care setting, but as a relative, you are predominantly concerned with their safety and ongoing health. Here are some simple checks to consider when viewing a care home:

Location and building:

  • Where is the care home?
  • How easy is it to access the care home? Are there easy transport links?
  • Does the home seem clean and inviting?
  • What is the accessibility of the care home?
  • Is there a relaxed and friendly atmosphere?
  • How busy are the staff? Is there a feeling that residents are kept busy?
  • How much room is there for personal belongings?

Day to day life:

  • Are there books / magazines / televisions available for residents?
  • Are residents encouraged to stay active and healthy during the day?
  • How are events publicised?
  • Are residents allowed outside for some fresh air?
  • Are there any restrictions on visiting times?
  • Are young children welcome to visit?
  • Are there strict rising times and bedtimes?
  • Can dietary requirements be considered?

Care needs:

  • What are the bathing facilities?
  • Is the home registered to provide the level of care required?
  • What are the procedures in place if a resident is taken ill?
  • What are the procedures for check-ups at the doctors / dentist?
  • Is there a manager on duty at all times?
  • What are the accessibility facilities for the toilets and bathrooms?

Contracts and fees:

  • Are the care home’s regulation reports available?
  • How are the fees structured?
  • Is a top-up payment required for local-authority assisted residents?
  • How are your valuables kept secure?

For more information about some other considerations when selecting a care home, please visit