Our Guide to Choosing a Care Home

Once you’ve made the decision to move to a care home, it is important to start exploring care homes near you to work out where you will be happiest and most comfortable. The decision can seem overwhelming. The team at Norwood Grange have put their heads together to come up with some top tips to help you to choose the right care home for you or your loved one.

Get a free needs assessment and consider how your care will be funded

When the time comes that you or your loved one need extra support, one of the first steps is to contact your local council’s social care team to request a free needs assessment. This will provide you with a professional evaluation of the support required, as well as being the first step to accessing financial support from the local authority, to help pay towards your care if required. The Money Advice Service has produced a guide on paying for care.

When you find a care home you like the look of, consider asking them how they plan to assess and meet your needs. Find out how frequently they review care plans to make sure they are able to meet your needs both now and in the future.


Find care homes near to you 

First and foremost, it is important to find out what care homes there are in your area, and whether they currently have vacancies. The site Carehome.co.uk is a great place to start, with the ability to search for care homes in any area. With over 100 care homes in the Sheffield area alone, it can be useful to take the time to look at the ratings and reviews left by clients and family members, to help narrow down your choices. Norwood Grange has a rating of 9.9, with a rating of excellent and all reviewers stating that were likely to recommend us (at the time of writing this article. Date: 1st July 2021).

Think about what’s important to you

When choosing a place to live, it is important that you don’t lose sight of what’s important to you. This might be the need for specialist support such as dementia care or nursing care. It might mean being located in a specific area, having a lovely view, or offering extras such as a varied activities programme. It could also mean the difference between a small home with a family feel, versus a larger care home with lots of residents and a busier atmosphere. Deciding what you want is crucial to making the right choice.

See what CQC has to say

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the independent regulator of health and social care in England. Their job is to monitor, inspect and regulate health and social care services to ensure that they provide people with safe, effective, compassionate, high-quality care.

All care homes are inspected regularly and the findings are published on the CQC website, giving useful insight into how the care home is run and the quality of the care provided. It can be useful to look at past reports to see how care homes are dedicated to taking feedback on board and improving in line with CQC recommendations. If there is anything in the report that you are unsure about, raise it with the manager when you visit, who should be able to reassure you and allay any concerns.  It can be useful to use these reports in conjunction with the personal reviews on the carehome.co.uk website, to get a fuller picture of life in the care home. 

Research, visit and ask questions

Doing a bit of web research can be a useful start. Visit the websites of the care homes you’re interested in; spy on them via their social media channels; get a feel for how they work and the activities on offer; look for smiles on the faces of any photos they post! 

Before arranging to visit the care home, make a list of questions that you want to ask the manager and staff team. The Which.co.uk website has a useful list of questions that you might want to consider - covering everything from the room itself, to activities, care and location, to name a few. 

When you do step foot in the door, let your senses guide you. What you see, hear, smell and feel can give you a very good indication of whether the care home is the right place for you. Ask to meet the staff team and residents, see how they interact with one another, and get a feel for the kind of people that you’ll be surrounded by. 

Arrange a short term stay

Many care homes offer short-term or respite care which can give you a really good indication of what life would be like as a more permanent resident. Ask the manager if they might be able to offer you a short term placement in the care home, so that you can experience all that they have to offer, as well as meeting the staff team and other residents. 

For further information or to arrange a personal guided tour please call us on 0114 243 1039 or select from one of the options below.