Tips on choosing residential or nursing homes

If you have made the decision to move into residential or nursing care, it is important to make the right decision over where you live.

Choosing the right residential care for you

Before you consider which residential home is right for you, you can visit the Care Quality Commission website. The Care Quality Commission is the independent regulator for all health and social care services in Solihull and throughout England.

You can check the most recent inspection report of any residential care or nursing home you are considering and decide whether a home is right for you.

Community Advice Hubs

If you would like to talk personally to someone about your move into residential care you can visit your local Community Information and Advice Hub for information and support.

If you are paying for your residential or nursing care, you can visit the paying the full cost of your care page to find out what financial help you could be entitled to.

Tips to choose the best residential or nursing care for you

Ensuring you get the best possible care which is right for you is the most important thing when selecting residential care or nursing homes.

These tips, which are based on information from trusted organisations such as the NHS, Citizens Advice, Age UK, Carers UK and the BBC could help you make the right decision.

Consider the location

  • is it near to friends and family
  • is it close to the shops and favourite places you like to visit such as cafes, cinemas and libraries
  • is it in a quiet area

Consider the focus

  • does the care home adapt to its residents or expect its resident to adapt to it

Consider your lifestyle

  • does the home allow pets
  • does it allow you to come and go as you please or have a strict time policy
  • does it allow you to have visitors easily
  • can staff help to take residents out
  • are there regular outings and activities arranged

Consider your voice

  • does it allow you to take part in the running of the home
  • are there open channels to communicate with staff and other residents

Consider your safety

  • is the care home safe and secure
  • is there supervision for certain activities and tasks

Consider your beliefs

  • is the home able to cater for your cultural, ethnic and religious needs
  • are staff at the home able to meet your language needs
  • can it meet your food and drink needs

A personal visit to the home is always advisable too, while if a temporary stay at the home is available, it may really help you decide one way or the other.

Good vs bad residential care

Each care home has its own way of working with some being suited to certain people and others being best for others.

Typically, a good care home will:

  • offer new residents and their families or carers an extensive guide to the home in a variety of accessible formats
  • train its staff highly - particularly when specialist care is needed
  • have experienced and well-trained staff who have worked there for a long time
  • have staff who know the residents well and are friendly, supportive and respectful
  • involve residents, families and carers in decisions
  • support residents to be independent
  • offer a good choice of tasty and nutritious food
  • provide a variety of leisure and social activities
  • be clean, bright and hygienic
  • respect the privacy, modesty, dignity and choices of each resident
  • be accredited under the Gold Standards Framework for end of life care

While you are considering the best care home for you, you should look out for homes which fail their residents.

Typically, a bad care home will:

  • have a code of practice which is not followed by staff
  • fail to listen to or consider the needs and wishes of its residents
  • fail to update or properly manage and adapt care plans for residents
  • allow staff to enter the private rooms of residents without knocking
  • have staff who talk about residents around other people
  • deny residents their independence
  • have staff who do not interact with residents
  • are in a poorly maintained, decorated and/or cleaned building

Report any concerns

If anything concerns you about the safety or possible abuse of an adult with care and support needs you should contact us immediately:

  • online
  • on the phone by calling 0121 704 8007

You can also report your concern online to the Care Quality Commission.

Healthwatch Solihull

Healthwatch Solihull is the independent consumer champion for health and social care in Solihull. If you have concerns about a residential or nursing home in Solihull you can report these to Healthwatch.

You can also contact your local Community Advice Hub.