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Understanding elderly care in 2014

There are many factors that you should take into consideration when choosing the right care home for a family member. Choosing a care home can be a distressing decision - both for you and the family member that needs care - and it is important to come up with a solution that is right for all concerned.

When looking at potential care homes, it is important to be aware of factors that could lead to problems in the future. How are the transport links - will it be easy to visit? Are there facilities such as shops and churches within easy reach? How accessible is the home, and are the rooms of a good size and in good condition?

It is also worth checking for unpleasant smells, the temperature of the home and the cleanliness of the property: if any of these are below standard, it may not be an environment in which you wish your nearest and dearest to live. You should also be sure to ask about catering and the freedom of the residents, and check that the home is registered to provide the right level of care that is needed. Check how many members of staff are employed per resident, and what the staff remit is: find out how they are trained, whether they help with day to day activities such as bathing and feeding if needed, and what staff turnover is like.

You should also ensure that the level of care needed by other residents matches that of your family member, and that those living in the home seem happy and comfortable. If you need further advice on the types of things you should be looking for, visit the Care Quality Commission (CQC) or look out for a CQC rating on the care homes website if they have one. Care homes such as Parkview Care Home ( and Whitegates retirements home ( demonstrate perfect examples of CQC related information about their care homes on their websites.

There are a number of guides out there to provide you with all of the information that you need to choose the right care home. Age UK ( publish both a care homes guide and a checklist to make sure that you ask the right questions, choose the right type of home and understand the services that can be included. You can also use websites such as to search homes by area, name and category, allowing for an easy comparison of the different options out there.

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