Advice Centre

When to start thinking

Many people are forced to make a decision about a care centre in a crisis, perhaps after a fall or illness of a loved one, or the death of a carer.

Looking back they often wish they’d had longer to look around. So if you think you or a relative might need care in the future, it’s a good idea to do some planning now, so that you’ll know what to do should the need arise.

Where to start

To decide which care centres to visit, it may be useful to speak to:

  • Friends and relatives for their recommendations
  • Your GP
  • Your local Social Services department, which should be able to provide a list of registered care centres in your area

You may also find it useful to look at the inspection reports for individual care centres which are produced by an independent body Care Quality Comission:

Choosing a Care Centre

In many ways, choosing a care home is like choosing any other place to live – within a few seconds you know whether it ‘feels right’.

If you’ll be paying the care centre’s fees, you can contact the centre directly yourself. Once you have found a centre you like, the centre will make an assessment of your needs, so they can be sure they can offer you the right kind of care.

If you will be asking the local authority to help with all or part of the fees, you should speak first to your GP and local Social Services department. They will carry out an assessment of your needs, and produce a report called a Care Plan that outlines the care, including any nursing care, they think you need.

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