Choosing a residential care home is tough. It’s a big decision with lots of important elements to consider, so preparation is key. As long as you have had a think about what you want to know and made note of what is important it shouldn’t be difficult to make the right choice. Here are some questions you should ask yourself or others based around first impressions, facilities, activities, daily routine, staff, health and when it is time to move in.
- What does the most recent report from the local authority or commission say about the home?
- How does the individual who may be moving into the home react to the surrounding initially?
- Are you greeted in a friendly way?
- Are the surroundings clean and nicely decorated?
- What mood do the residents appear to be in?
- What amenities are nearby?
- Can residents bring in their own possessions and furniture and is there sufficient space for this?
- Are the corridors wide enough and adapted suitably? This also goes for bathrooms and toilets.
- Are the bedrooms a nice environment, and do the residents have a degree of privacy when in them?
- Are there enough bathrooms and toilets, and are they easily accessible from bedrooms and social spaces?
- Are the staff members properly trained and happy to help residents use the toilet?
- Are the social areas set up in a way that is, in fact, sociable e.g. spaces where people can sit near each other?
- How many rooms are there for activities and seeing visitors?
- Is there a garden or other outdoor space and is it sufficient?
- Are activities planned or optional extras and clubs offered
- Can contact be made daily if needs be?
- Are visitors welcome at any time and can visitors take residents out?
- Are trips organised or outings allowed?
- Can residents exercise and are they encouraged to?
- Are there different options to choose from for TV, music and other activities?
- How do the staff members act towards residents? How would you say they feel towards them?
- Are they amiable and chatty when helping residents?
- Do they have training in particular areas such as dementia care?
- Do they know much about the residents? For example, their interests background and habits?
- Do they answer questions openly and clearly, with a degree of understanding and empathy towards your situation?
- What is the protocol in the case of a medical emergency or someone deteriorating suddenly?
- Can relatives stay for longer periods during a time of health concern?
- What is the process before moving in?
- How long is the wait?
- Is there an assessment before a resident is admitted?
- Have you shown agreements or contracts to a solicitor or member of the Citizens Advice Bureau?
- What comes in a package and what is deemed as a billable extra? How long do you have to pay fees and how are they raised?
- What happens a situation greatly deteriorates and sudden change is needed?
Ensure you ask these questions and think of more of your own before looking at care homes in Somerset.