Nursing and Residential homes

Choosing a care home

Things to consider

When choosing a care home, it is important to make sure that you choose one that will be right for you now and in the future.

It may be helpful to ask the below questions:

  • are the physical conditions suitable, e.g. is there a lift, handrails, ramps for wheelchairs, bathing aids, locks on doors
  • does the home provide a clear statement of the facilities available and the financial terms
  • are the residents able to use their own furniture and make their bedroom individual to them
  • are the shared areas homely, clean and sweet-smelling
  • is the quality, quantity, and variety of food satisfactory
  • do staffing arrangements appear to be satisfactory and do staff treat residents with dignity, respect and friendliness
  • are there any activities arranged and what encouragement is given to residents to help them pursue their own interests
  • are there any limitations on visiting
  • are the arrangements for health care suitable
  • is there a trial period

Principles and good practice

In order to help you make your decision about whether the care offered is likely to meet your needs, you may also want to consider the following.

Your rights

Residents should be able to maintain their rights as a citizen including the freedom of personal religious or political expression. The Home Manager should support this view and must ensure that any restriction of persons’ rights (for theirs or others protection) should only happen after full consultation with everyone involved, unless in an emergency.


Residents should be helped to think and act independently. The Homes Manager must ensure that each resident's situation is carefully monitored to ensure a reasonable balance is achieved between independence and risk taking.


Being able to exercise choice is very important to our well-being, and care staff should actively encourage residents to make informed choices wherever possible. They should establish the residents' wishes regarding the care they wish to receive in the home. Residents should also be able to have to access to external advice and, where necessary, advocacy.


Treating a person with dignity involves recognising their value as an individual and acknowledging their uniqueness. It means treating each person with respect. Care staff should treat all residents with respect and dignity.


Residents should be encouraged to use their skills, pursue their interests and maintain and make new relationships, which may include sexual relationships and / or marriage.

A good home will build on residents' strengths, such as experience and knowledge, whilst meeting the needs which the resident themselves cannot meet because of their own physical or mental condition.


Residents have the right, if they wish, to be alone, undisturbed and free from intrusion. However, there are situations where it would not appear to be in the interests of the resident to remain isolated in their own room. In these circumstances, advice should be offered in consultation with relatives and all the appropriate professionals.

Resolving problems

Any difficulties which arise in a home should be referred to the person in charge at the time of the incident. If possible, problems should be resolved by that person or by the Owner or Manager.