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How To Choose A Care Home

Finding a care home that’s right for you is an incredibly important decision and one that needs careful consideration. If you have weighed up the pros and cons and decided that a care home is the right choice for the next chapter of life, then it’s time to start researching available care homes and what they offer. There are questions you will need to ask when you start looking into how to find a care home that suits your needs, and it’s worth having a list of these ready. You should also make a list of things that are especially important to you so that when you are choosing a care home, you can be sure you find one that matches your wants and needs. Read on for advice on how to find a care home, the questions to ask, and the essential points to include in your checklist.

Finding A Care Home That’s Right For You

If you have decided you are ready to move into a care home, or are looking on behalf of a loved one, these are some of the areas to factor in when making your final choice:

1. Location 

When you’re thinking about how to find a care home, it’s natural to put location as the first priority. Most care home residents want to stay in an area that’s close to family, friends and community connections, making it easier for loved ones to visit and offer additional support. 

In addition to this, you might also want to think about the location of the care home itself, for example, if there is ample green space to walk around in, or if it’s close to a city for potential day trips. 

Our care homes are near to several large cities, including Manchester and Leeds, but are also nestled away in leafy surroundings, providing the best of both worlds. Finding a care home in an environment you enjoy can mean you still get to take part in things you love, such as gardening or days out.

2. Care Services

There are different types of care homes and care services available. For example, residential care homes are different from nursing homes. You will need to know the level of care required in order to understand how to choose a care home that meets your individual needs. A care assessment will help you discover which care provision will be best for you.

This could be residential care if you still have a good level of independence, nursing care if you need medical support or dementia care if you have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or dementia

New Care Homes operate multi care provisions, offering various levels of care in the same care homes, with qualified staff trained in each area.

3. Facilities

The facilities and amenities in a care home can make all the difference to your living experience. Finding a care home that can allow you to do things you enjoy will improve your quality of life and make the transition to moving to a care home that much easier. Well-planned interiors that encourage independence, good social spaces, and a range of dining options are just some of the things that matter when deciding how to choose a care home.

You might even be looking at care homes for couples, or prefer a care home with a busy programme of activities to keep you entertained. Our care homes have on-site nail bars and hair salons too, so you can relax and be pampered.

4. Cost

Care home costs can be a determining factor when you first research how to choose a care home. Make sure you budget correctly and find out exactly what the care home fees you pay will include. The level of care and the standard of facilities will affect the price you pay, and will vary. Therefore, when weighing up the cost, base it not just on the monetary figure, but what you can expect in return. Ask about financial arrangements or any help available also.

5. Staff

When you are choosing a care home, you are also choosing the people who will look after you, so ask questions about the staff, their qualifications and any ongoing training. Find out the staff-to-resident ratio and the healthcare professionals available on-site, such as nurses or therapists. Finding the right care home isn’t only about feeling secure in the expertise and quality of staff either, you should also feel able to build a rapport with them. Developing friendships with staff can also make moving into a care home easier. Visiting beforehand and speaking to the care home team will guide you towards a home that you feel comfortable in.  

6. Recommendations

Talk to family members and friends to find out if they have any personal recommendations and see if they can provide valuable insights based on their experiences. You can also speak to healthcare professionals who will know more about how to choose a care home and have knowledge of available care homes in your area. 

Start your search to find a care home online or ask your local social services department or GP surgery for a local care directory. The Care Quality Commission (CQC) regulates all care homes in England, undertaking regular care home inspections to ensure they meet the required standards. Care homes are required to display their CQC rating in the home and on their website. Taking the time to read the latest CQC could help you to make your decision when choosing a care home.

7. Visits

Once you’ve whittled down your list of possible care homes, arrange to visit those on your shortlist. A face-to-face visit is essential when choosing a care home so you can assess its cleanliness, care provisions and safety. Take your list of questions so you don’t forget to ask anything and take the time to meet the care home manager, speak to the staff and other residents, and get a good feel for the atmosphere of the care home. If you need a follow-up visit to help you choose a care home, ask for another visit and take as long as you need to find a care home that’s right for you.

Some new residents join our care homes after a short stay using our respite services. This helps them to see what it’s actually like to live at a New Care Home and makes the move into residential care easier and more pleasant. 

Questions To Ask When Choosing A Care Home

Finding a care home means asking lots of questions, which staff will be happy to answer. Some questions are simply to find out the basics, while others may be more specific to your personal preferences and interests. There’s no such thing as too many questions when you start researching how to find a care home, but here are some of the most common ones we get asked:

  • What are the rules around care home visitors?
  • What facilities are on offer?
  • What kind of care home activities are provided?
  • Can I decorate my bedroom with personal items?
  • What social activities are available?
  • How integrated is the home into the wider community?
  • Is there access to a doctor onsite?
  • What are meal times like?
  • What’s staff turnover like?

The answers you receive to these questions will help you understand if a care home is ‘the one’ or if you need to keep looking. 


Once you’ve found a care home that feels right for you, the home manager or a senior member of the care home team will carry out a pre-admission care assessment to ensure your loved one’s needs can be fully supported. This assessment also provides an opportunity for our staff to gain an understanding of your loved one’s likes and dislikes, and we involve family in this assessment as much as possible.

We understand that finding a care home is a process that cannot be rushed, and one that should involve family, friends and loved ones. It’s a personal decision and one that we can fully support you in by answering questions and arranging visits to any of our homes.

If you have any questions about our care homes, care services, or would like to arrange a visit, please contact us here.