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Choosing a Care Home

The care home selection process can at times seem a confusing and daunting task. With over 15 years’ experience of helping people find the right home, we have produced some help below.

Choosing the Location

For many people it is important to live in a familiar location and near to friends and family and is the first key step in choosing a care home. It is worth discussing this with friends and family for their opinion, and to find out how often will friends or family be able to visit.


Type of Care Required

The level of care required and the quality of that care is as important as the location of the home. SCL Care Ltd homes all offer residential, dementia, day, respite and palliative care. For more information see Our Care Services


Finding a Care Home

Once you have decided on a location and know the type of care you or your loved one require, the next step is to find out where the homes are in your area and which homes provide the care that meets your requirements. The type of care services a home offers needs to meet the needs of you or your loved one, so do make sure that you visit several homes. 


There are different ways of finding out about the care homes in your area:


  • will be able to provide you with information about the homes registered in your area. Visit

  • Independent Age can give you information and advice on how to find a home and what to look for. Call 0800 319 1863 or visit

  • The Elderly Accommodation Counsel (EAC) has a comprehensive database of care homes in the UK. Visit

  • Speak to people you know and trust, friends, relatives, or your GP can suggest a home with a good reputation. It is worth remembering that personal recommendation can be a good starting point, however homes can change and what one person looks for in a home may be different to another.


Making a Choice

Once you have narrowed down your chosen homes by location and services, contact the home and ask them to send you information about the home and the services they provide. It is worthwhile visiting a range of homes that meet your criteria, even if they are not in your preferred location, so that you can experience for yourself the care on offer.


Good quality homes welcome visits and should encourage you to meet and speak with Residents who live in the home along with members of staff, this will give you an idea of what life is really like there. It is important to ensure that the quality of the care provided meets your expectations and the standards set by the relevant governing bodies.


Your own impressions of the home are very important and visits provide the ideal opportunity to judge for yourself whether it is the right home for you and to check whether it meets your physical, emotional and spiritual needs. If possible, invite a family member or friend to come along and join you on a visit as a second opinion can be very useful.


Do ask as many questions as you need to and do as much research as you can, to get a peace of mind and confidence about choosing the right care home. If you are unable to visit various homes, many homes will come and visit you to speak with you about the services on offer, the care they provide and answer any questions you may have.


Things to think about include:

  • Location – do you want a rural, residential or urban location?

  • Ground and gardens – can you sit outside if you like?

  • Are you happy with the communal areas?

  • What are the mealtime routines like?

  • Can you bring your own furniture with you?

  • What kinds of activities are on offer?


You could also ask for a copy of the care home’s most recent inspection report and statement of purpose, which sets out its aims and objectives, the range of facilities offered and its terms and conditions.


The fees level for care homes depend upon the type of care you or loved one need, e.g. residential care or dementia care. Full details on paying for care can be found on the Care Home Fees page.


Arrange a Visit

SCL Care Ltd always welcome visitors and we’re happy to show you around either of our homes that you may be considering. We have an open door policy in our homes. However, to make sure a member of staff is free to show you around, it’s a good idea to call before you visit. It’s also helpful if you want to meet the manager.


You don’t need to make a decision about a home during your visit. Take some time to think and arrange another visit if you’re unsure or have more questions. We want to help you make the right decision for you. We're happy for you to come and see us as many times as you like or need.

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