Top tips on choosing a Care Home Deciding to move a relative into a care home can be one of the most difficult things a family has to go through. You will naturally want to do everything in your power to make sure their needs are met and they will be happy living there. Guild Care has a long established history of running care homes in Worthing, having opened its first one in 1943. We now have three distinct care homes serving the local community. Haviland House is a care home dedicated to people living with dementia, and is working towards becoming the first 'Butterfly' home in Worthing with dementia excellence consultants Dementia Care Matters. Caer Gwent is a luxury five star nursing care home and Linfield House is a more traditional, quiet and homely nursing home which also offers a small specialist dementia suite. "Naturally people want to stay in their own homes, but sometimes that is just not possible and a care home can be the only solution. It is probably one of the hardest and most stressful decisions you will have to make, so we always advise people to plan ahead whenever possible and to start thinking about choices before the crisis point. With this in mind, it can really help to have a checklist of questions to ask yourself." Debbie Dollner, Chief Operating Officer To help you get started and before you make your shortlist, here are Guild Care’s top tips for choosing a good care home for your loved ones: Take your time. Choosing a home in a hurry is never a good idea. Consider how much time you put into choosing your own home? Talk to your relative if possible. Find out what is most important to them about a care home. Maybe they would like access to the garden or have special dietary requirements. If your relative is quiet and shy they may be better off in a smaller home rather that a larger one. Decide on the type of home your relative needs. Is it a nursing, residential or dementia care home that they need? If your loved one may need a greater level of care in the future, it can be wise to choose a home where extended care is possible rather than having to move homes. Check the care home’s rating on the Care Quality Commission (CQC) website. While you should not solely rely on this it’s a good place to start. Decide on where the home should be. Think about the distances from you and other family members. When visiting the home, did the staff smile at you and your relative? Did they appear friendly and kind? Did the manager take the time to explain all the facilities, show you the rooms and talk about daily nutrition for residents? Check the internal and external living environment. How does the home smell? Avoid homes that have odours such as urine or stale food. If you smell too much air freshener this may be intended to mask unwanted smells. Check outside too and make sure there are no cigarette butts by the entrance. If staff leave them around it doesn’t create a very good first impression. What activities are available for the residents? Does the home have a range of activities, entertainment and outings on a regular basis? What type of activities and excursions does the home arrange? Are these the type of things your relative would like to get involved with? Check visiting hours. Is the home flexible about when you can come and visit? E.g. Are you allowed to visit at mealtimes, so you can see if people are eating and being helped to eat? Does the home invite feedback? Does it run committees for both relatives and residents? If you are considering a care home for your relative and would like to find out more about one of our homes please call our Customer Services Team on 01903 327327 or complete the online enquiry form here.