If you are at a point in your life where you may be considering choosing a care home for yourself, or for an older relative in your life, then you will want to make sure that you make the best decision possible. Before making a choice, there are some useful things to think about – read on to find out what kind of questions you should think about asking.
Find out about availability
There has been a growing demand for care homes across the country, to the point where many homes are having to turn people away, or have lengthy waiting lists before a vacancy may be available. Before you choose a care home, it is worth finding out about availability in the particular area you might like to stay, or a specific home, if you have one in mind. Knowing this beforehand will help you decide whether it is worth considering a specific institution further, or if it is better to spend your time looking for places with more immediate availability, depending on your needs.
What kind of care do they provide?
Many care homes will often cater to specific niches, such as meeting the needs of particular communities, cultures, or health needs. Some may provide specific facilities for people suffering conditions such as Alzheimer’s or dementia, while others may provide a specific level of support and independence for residents, depending on their health conditions. If having particular care requirements is an important factor, then you should check beforehand if your chosen care home can meet these senior living needs fully and safely.
Do they offer a trial stay?
If you think you have found a home that seems right for you, then it may be worth asking for a trial stay period, before making a final commitment. A trial period can provide a better insight into what it is like to stay there, including interactions with staff and other residents, the environment, food, and other factors. This may vary between a few days or a few weeks, depending on individual facilities, but can be a great way of deciding if something is right for you, or if you need to continue searching.
What are their rules and policies?
Most care homes will have specific policies in place to keep the environment safe and enjoyable for their staff and residents, but it is best to be fully briefed on these before making any decisions. These may include policies on issues such as visitor times and limitations, whether residents are allowed to share space with a partner, whether pets are permitted, and many other factors. Some facilities may give people a lot more independence and opportunity to make their own decisions, such as the ability to choose their own décor and mealtimes, while others may be more rigid. There is no right or wrong option here – it is best to consider what your specific needs and desires are, and what feels best for you.