How to Choose a Retirement Home

By Matt D Lambourne

Deciding to put an elderly relative into residential care is among the hardest choices that someone will have to make in life. Once the initial decision has been made, selecting a retirement home that is suitable can be time-consuming and worrying, especially in the light of much-publicised, yet rare, news stories about the standards of care for the elderly. Knowing what to look for and where to seek more information will enable you to make an informed decision which you can be confident is the right choice.

Meeting your needs

One of the most important considerations is how your relative’s individual needs will be met, especially if they have health issues. Some establishments offer residents considerable independence so you should consider the proximity to nearby facilities such as shops and post offices as well as the opportunity to engage in social events with other residents. If your relative has complex needs or requires constant nursing care, you should be reassured how the type of care will take account of these issues and how your loved one will be kept safe.

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Making a visit

Visiting a residential home is an essential part of the process and will enable you to see at first-hand the standard of care on offer. Before visiting, make a list of questions to ask or points to check such as: how dietary or religious needs will be met; whether equipment such as hoists, seat-lift chairs and adjustable beds are available; and how your relative’s medical needs will be met, especially if these are complex.

A visit will also enable you to talk to staff and residents and will help you to build up an important picture of what life is like in the home, as well as addressing any concerns you may have.

Researching inspection reports

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