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Choosing a care home

Choosing whether to move into a residential care or nursing home, and if so which one, can be daunting. To help you make the right choice to meet your needs and preferences, we have put together some aspects of living in a care home that you may wish to consider.

Trial period

Most care homes will be happy to accept potential residents on a trial basis, to see whether they can meet your needs, and for you to see if life in a care home is what you expected.

Level of care

Is the care home able to provide the care you need?

Personal needs

Can the care home cater for any cultural, spiritual or dietary needs you have? 

What about your personality

Do you like a routine and a setting where a lot of things are done for you? Or would you prefer to be encouraged to be as independent as possible, and expect to be consulted about most decisions?


Is the care home near enough to family and friends so you will be able to have visitors?

Social activities

What activities are organised, and how often? Will you be able to keep up any hobbies you are still able to do?


What are the meals like? How much choice is there? Does the home turn them into social occasions?


If the communal lounge has a television how/by whom are the programmes chosen? Is there a separate room where there is no television, for those who want to be quiet, or to be able to have conversation with visitors?


Can you bring your pet if you have one? Does the home have a pet?


Is there a residents’or relatives’ association or committee?

What happens if your needs change?

You become more frail or your needs change? Can the home cope or will you have to move?

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