Choosing a Care Home: The Checklist

As medical care improves and life expectancy increases, ever more people are looking to live out their golden years in a home-from-home care facility. When this time comes for you or your loved one, you may look at several care homes before deciding on the right one.



At Paxton Hall Care Home we firmly believe that every resident should be able to call Paxton their ‘home’. We understand how important it is to make sure your loved one is in the best possible care. As a result, we have compiled a thorough checklist of things to look out for, and questions you may like to ask when visiting different residential homes.


Step one: Location

Many care home residents have strong social and family connections in their local communities, and will often stay in the same area to maintain these relationships. Things to consider when visiting care homes are:

  • When you entered the property were you made to feel welcome?
  • How far is from your home? Is the travel time for visiting reasonable.
  • Quick and easy to find somewhere to park?
  • Is the environment peaceful and tranquil?
  • Is there a resident friendly garden or access to a garden


Step two: Day-to-day life

 It’s critical that the staff interact well with residents, building a good relationship. You can look out for this by asking yourself:

  • Do the staff seem engaged and attentive and if so are the residents responding well?
  • Is the care home manager approachable?
  • Is the care home clean and well looked after?
  • Are there any complementary services available to residents and if so what are they and how does this compare to rival care homes?
  • Is there a choice of meals?
  • Are special diets catered for?
  • Is the food freshly cooked on site from seasonal supplies or is it ordered in pre-packed?
  • Do they choose where they eat? e.g. their room or lounge or dining room


Step three: Social activities

Every care home resident should have the right to independence, freedom of choice, privacy, dignity, respect and most importantly, the right to live a full and active life.

Things to consider:

    • Are the care staff enthusiastic about activities?
    • Is there a forwarding calendar of activities?
    • Do they encourage the residents to remain active? E.g hobbies and interests
    • Are there dedicated activities staff?
    • Are special events, such as birthdays and religious holidays celebrated?
    • Do the staff give residents the opportunity to help with activities within the care home, e.g. gardening or cooking?
    • Do the staff arrange entertainers and groups of interest to visit?
    • Do the staff give residents regular exercise opportunities?
    • Do staff consult with residents on the types of activities planned?


Final stage: Reputation

At this stage, you should also take some time to check third-party reviews of some of the care homes you may be considering. The established independent regulator for care homes in England is called the Care Quality Commission. They undertake regular inspections of all care homes to ensure they meet government standards and can help identify any areas for concern. Another great site to see reviews of care homes is for recent feedback of visitors and current residents.


If you would like to find out more about the care we offer here at Paxton Hall, please call 01480 213 036 to book a tour, and see if we tick all the boxes today!

You are cordially invited to visit us at Paxton Hall if you are you are looking for a home for either yourself or someone close to you, You can visit us unannounced on Monday to Friday between 10:00 AM and 3:00 PM or by prior appointment with the Administrator for any other time. This will enable us to ensure there is a senior person around to answer your questions.


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