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Advice on choosing a care home

Moving into a care home
Moving into a care home is a life changing decision and you should take as much time as you can to decide what kind of care you need and what type of home you want to move to. This web page sets out the different types of care home, provides some tips on deciding the best option for you and where you can go for more advice.

Help deciding on the support you need
If you are not sure whether you need to move into a care home, but do feel you need more help and support, please call Islington Social Services on 020 7527 2299. They can tell you what support is available either to help you stay at home or advise you on the type of care home you may need.

Types of care home
There are different types of care home:

- Extra care sheltered accommodation is flats with 24 hour support on site.
- Residential care is for people who need 24 hour care support.
- Nursing care is for people with nursing and care needs.

Once you know the type of care you need, there are a number of organisations that can help you find homes in the area you want to live and give you advice and support. Some examples  include:

Independent Age 
Age UK 

You can find other organisations offering information and support by searching the Links for Living directory using keywords such as ‘support with finding care homes.’

Checking Quality
All care homes in the England need to be registered with the Care Quality Commission.  They inspect care homes and publish the reports on their website. You should always check the quality reports when looking for a care home. They also list care homes by area. You can contact them on 03000 616161.

Choosing a Care Home

When choosing a care home, you or someone you trust should visit the homes that you are interested in to help you make a decision. Here are a few things to look for:

Is the home clean, homely and well kept?
Do the other residents look well cared for, relaxed?
Are the staff talking to residents and are activities going on?
Is there a garden and is the home accessible if you use a wheelchair?
Ask to see the menus for the week and activities available
Will the location of the home make it easy for family and friends to visit?
There are many other questions you may want to ask on your visit. Age UK and the MS Society both have useful checklists which you can print off and take when you visit.

You can download this information in word format by clicking on 'Advice on choosing a care home factsheet' under related links on the right hand side of this page.