Published: 29 Oct at 7 PM
All registered nursing homes will have at least a brochure but probably other marketing material which will provide details of the facilities available for use at the nursing home. Ask each potential nursing home for their brochure, take it home and read it at your leisure, writing down any questions you have for nursing home staff about the issues raised in the booklet. Check the local authority and health authority Registration and Inspection team has visited the nursing home, and then ask the nursing home manager for a copy of the inspection report. This inspection is carried out by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) who keep a publicly viewable record of all their inspected care homes on their website at www.cqc.org.uk. Similarly, the Registered Nursing Home Association (RNHA) offer a list of their member homes on their website, www.rnha.co.uk. Check that all the staff and managers at the nursing home are qualified, experienced and caring, as the service the staff give will relate directly to whether you or the person moving in will be happy at the nursing home.
Look around the area in which the nursing home is based to see if it is an area you or the person moving in would like to live in, and check that it is close to family and friends, as they will want to visit regularly and easily. If you or the person moving in have specific cultural requirements, such as religious or dietary needs, check that the nursing home can accommodate these, and also ask what choice of meals they serve on a day to day basis so you can gauge whether you or the person moving in will like what they have on offer.
Make sure the nursing home has the right facilities to meet your needs or the needs of the person moving in, such as a lift, assisted bath and wheelchair access. Also ask if the home has facilities that are important to you or the person moving in, such as bedrooms with en suite, bathrooms and induction loops if you are hard of hearing. If you or the person moving in has a pet and would like to keep it at the nursing home then you must check in advance if the nursing home allows pets, and if you or the person moving in smokes, check what the smoking policy is, as some nursing homes only allow smoking in designated areas.
It can be a difficult and will probably be quite a time consuming process, but it is a very important decision that should only be taken if the timing and situation is right. Thanks to the internet, the process of selecting care homes in appropriate locations has got a lot easier over recent years with sites such as www.carehome.co.uk and www.bettercaring.com providing a simple to use search facility for care homes in the UK.