top 10 tips for looking for a care home

Finding the best care home for you or a loved one can be difficult and there are many things to be considered before moving in or even contacting different homes. Listing questions and concerns to ask the care home should be a first step too.

These are Signature’s top 10 tips to think about when looking for a care home.


Would you like to be close to family and your previous home town or city? This can be a key consideration, knowing that family and friends are close enough to visit on a regular basis and special days. If the location is further than preferred then check out the local town and see what’s local or similar to what you’re used to. Looking early is a benefit too because some homes may have a waiting list.

Fees & Costs

Plan a budget and organise your finances for the long term; figure out who is funding your stay and how. Always ask different homes for fees and explanations on how their costs are calculated. Comparing the costs between different types of care and care homes is advisable for knowing which homes are best for your budget.  Many homes may offer a Deferred Care Annuity plan, which can be a great option for many care seekers.

Care & Support

Consider your care needs and what kind of interactions will be suited to you. Request further information if you require certain conditions to live in ask if they have nursing care, assisted living and if you’re living with dementia then ask what further support is provided.


Meeting the team members and carers on site is important so you and your family know who to contact for any information or enquiries. Knowing whether the staff can connect to you and the other residents is vital so you have confidence feeling like you’ve always got a friend or someone to talk to if you’re bored or when you’re busy. Furthermore, is there always someone available for help in case of emergency or late night calls?

Food & Nutrition

If you know your likes and dislikes of various foods and any adjustments you may need, then look at the menu and food options on your shortlisted care homes to see their variety, diversity and special diet amendments like allergies, plant-based diets or dysphagia.

Exercise & Activities

Day-to-day activities at care homes are important if you have hobbies like arts and crafts, baking, dancing and playing games. There should always be fun and engaging activities for everyone in the home to get people interacting and socialising. It may be a good idea to see if homes are open to suggestions in case you want to try something new.  Many homes offer a full calendar of activities both in and outside the home.

Length of Stay & How Soon

Spending time at a care home is usually a long term experience. However, in certain scenarios like needing care soon after an operation or needing any type of recovery time, you can stay at your preferred home until you’re feeling better and able to live independently again. This is called respite care and is available at most care homes.

Different Rooms & CQC ratings?

Research your shortlisted homes and their reviews  and reports from CQC, as well as other sites they’re advertised on. Think about what the different rooms come with; how will they suit your preferences and do they have enough space for your own belongings. Also, check if the home is 100% accessible if you have any mobility issues.

Guests & Visiting

A home that welcomes friends and family to visit whenever they want to see you is the best. Look out for locations where guests have unlimited visits for a tea in the afternoon or a special occasion like birthdays and Christmas.

Bringing a Piece of Home With You

Your new home must be comfortable, so you may want to check that you can bring your own furniture and belongings. Another bonus could be that some homes are pet friendly and open to you bringing your loyal friend to stay with you.. Other residents may have pets too and some homes have a friendly neighbourhood pet that’s well loved in their home.