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Planning Retirement Online

Questions to ask when choosing a Care Home     


elderly people with laptop

There is some preparation that you should do and some questions that you should ask when choosing a Residential Care Home because once you have decided to move into a Residential Care Home or Nursing Home, your choice of home is very important.

When choosing a home you should try to:

  • Look at a list of all the homes in your chosen area.
  • Ask for brochures of those homes that interest you
  • Visit several homes to look around and find out more about them. 
  • Stay for a short while in those that you like best 
  • Take your time in choosing the right home - don`t be rushed into making a decision.

Care Home links

We have prepared a list of questions for you to print off and take with you. When visiting homes ask a friend, family member or Social Worker to go with you.

The Home

  • Would it be easy for your visitors to get to the home by car or public transport?
  • Is the home convenient for shops, bus stops and local amenities? 
  • How many Residents and staff does it have, and are there any vacancies?
  • Does the Home look well maintained and smell clean?
  • Is the home warm?
  • Is there a garden?
  • What security does the Home provide for its Residents?
  • Is the Home accessible for wheelchairs? 
  • Would you have your own front door key?
  • What are the laundry arrangements?
  • Does it have a lift?
  • Is there more than one lounge?
  • Is there a quiet area?
  • Can I bring my own furniture?

The daily routine

  • Are there fixed times to get up, go to bed and have meals, or are these flexible so you can choose when you do things? 
  • Could you stay in bed if you wanted? 
  • Would you be allowed to eat in your room or in bed? 
  • Can I go out when I want?
  • Are there entertainments and activities provided?

Your care

  • Are special diets catered for and is the week`s menu on view? 
  • Are there special facilities for people who have physical disabilities, sight or hearing difficulties? 
  • If a Resident became frail, could the Home provide them with the care they need or would they have to move elsewhere? 
  • What services are available to Residents and would these cost extra? These might include hairdresser, chiropodist, dentist or optician. 


  • Are visitors welcome at any time? 
  • What facilities are provided for visitors, e.g. tea/coffee? 
  • Can you see visitors in private in your own room? 


About financial and other arrangements 

  • What are the fees, how are they paid and how often? 
  • Would there be any extras on top of this, for example a TV in your room or outings?
  • Ask for a copy of the contract. What does it include and what does it leave out? 
  • When might a resident be asked to leave? 
  • What happens if a Resident dies? 
  • What are the arrangements to help you manage your finances? 
  • Is there a formal complaints procedure 
  • Do Residents have access to outside help to resolve problems? 

And finally, would you like to live there?

Now read the rest of this Guide and the Guide to Caring for Elderly Parents in order to help you with some important issues regarding growing old.

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