Guide for families looking for a Care Home

Guide for families looking for a Care Home

#GladtoCare awareness week guide to finding a care home

#GladtoCare awareness week, which runs from 6th July through to 12th July, aims to help care homes 'open their online doors and windows' during a time, when visiting in person, is severely restricted.

How to find the right care home

Whilst 'in-person' visiting restrictions remain in place, one of the best ways to see the 'personality' of a care home is to follow it on social media. 

Using #GladtoCare in your search, should help you find care homes that are actively seeking online visitors. You will obviously find some homes that for various reasons don't fit your search remit - geographical - price - care offered - but they will give you ideas for the sort of place you should be looking for. 

For many people, looking for elderly care is not a task they will have undertaken before, or will need to get involved in, more than once or twice in their lives. So, it’s not surprising that many families are in the dark about how to even start looking for elderly care.

The search for later life care
Guide to finding a care home

Four key points to consider

This new guide, especially created for GladtoCare awareness week will take you through the four crucial points you need to consider when you are looking for a care home.


Surprisingly a lot of people get this wrong. They assume that the most appropriate location is near where mum or dad already live.  But this can often mean a long journey for family members, who in the long run, are likely to be the people that visit the most.

A care home should always be nearest to the person most likely to visit both now and in the future.

Who will visit most
Who will visit most

What type of elderly care do you need?

There are essentially three types of care home catering to different elderly care needs:

- nursing home. A nursing home has nurses on site. So, if you need nursing care, and you need nurses to look after you or your elderly relative, it is a nursing home that you should be looking for. 

You will also need a nursing home if you need a hoist to help you transfer from your bed into a chair or wheelchair.

- residential care. Residential care can offer a lot of support medically, but they won't be registered by any regulatory bodies to provide nursing care.

Both a nursing home and a residential care home will provide accommodation, food, laundry, activities and personal care.

- dementia care.  Both residential and nursing homes can provide support for people living with dementia.  A word of warning though; when you are looking for a dementia care home, consider the needs of your loved one now and how those needs might develop in the future.  Future proofing, both care needs and changing dementia needs over time, is really important.  For more information on the many different type of dementia, this page might be useful.

This would also be the time to consider a Lasting Power of Attorney. 

Making financial and wellbeing decisions on behalf of somebody else, can be problematic unless you have a Lasting Power of Attorney in place. If you are unsure whether you have one, or if you do, whether it is up-to-date, then Autumna have partnered with Parfitt Cresswell who will be able to advise you. For an overview of their services, this Autumna page might help.

    Parfitt Cresswell
    Legal advice is recommended

    How much will a care home cost?

    For many people, paying for residential later life care, will be one of the largest expenses they will ever have to cover in their life.

    It is therefore really important that when you are looking for a care home, you are clear from the outset, what your funding arrangements are.  If you run out of money after six or nine months, and the care home has to ask you to leave, then you will have chosen the wrong care home. 

    If you are unsure how long your money will last, you might want to speak to a SOLLA adviser. SOLLA stands for Society of Later Life Advisers and Autumna partners with one of it's members - Eldercare Solutions.

    Read more about financing your later life care on this Autumna page, or Eldercare Solutions have a downloadable guide called ‘Paying for Care – Important Things You Should Know’ on their website. 

    Eldercares' digital guide to paying for elderly care
    Digital guide to paying for elderly care

    Does the home have availability now?

    How quickly do you need that care home? In our experience, most families look for a care home when they are facing a crisis situation, and they need somewhere for their elderly relative to go immediately.

    Making such an important emotional and financial decision at a time of stress is very difficult, and your choices will be limited to those that have availability.

    If possible, decisions made in crisis should be avoided, ideally by identifying a shortlist of suitable care homes well in advance.

    For more advice and help choosing the right care home, visit our contact page, or call our advice line 01892 33 53 30 and speak to one of our friendly advisers.

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