We have produced the following questions as a helpful guide to choosing a suitable home. Always question the person in charge, look for evidence of what You’ll have been told. Inspect the bedrooms, living rooms, toilets and bathrooms. Talk to other residents or their relatives.

The Building

  • Is the home pleasantly situated?
  • Is there a garden and access ramps?
  • Is it near a bus route?
  • Is the home well maintained, clean and fresh smelling?
  • Will I share a bedroom?
  • What consultation will take place if it is necessary for a room move within the home?
  • Are the toilets and bathrooms accessible and fitted with adaptations for the disabled?
  • Is there a telephone for private calls?
  • Are there smoking and non-smoking areas?
  • What safety and security precautions have been taken?
  • Is it the sort of home I could live in?

Personal Requirements

  • Is there a warm and friendly atmosphere?
  • Do residents in the home look happy, contented and active?
  • What possessions can I take with me?
  • Are there any facilities to keep my valuables safe?
  • Can I see them in private?
  • Can I choose rising and retiring times?
  • What social activities are there?
  • What arrangements are made for religious and/or cultural needs?
  • Is there a residents committee?
  • How are my affairs kept confidential?


  • What time are they served?
  • Are the menus interesting and balanced?
  • Is there a choice?
  • Are special diets catered for?

Medical Matters

  • If I need attention what is the procedure?
  • Can I keep my own GP?
  • What arrangements are made concerning visits from the dentist, optician, or hearing specialist?
  • Is physiotherapy and occupational therapy available?
  • if I need to go into hospital will my bed be kept open?
  • Will the care staff consult me regarding treatment?
  • How are standards of care maintained?
  • What equipment is available for my needs, e.g. Beside rails, pressure relieving mattresses, and nebulisers, etc.?
  • Does the home have all the facilities to meet my changing medical needs?

Staffing Arrangements

  • How many trained staff, care assistants and ancillary staff are on during each shift?
  • Are the staff welcoming and friendly?
  • How long have the staff worked there?
  • Are they experienced in caring for older people?
  • Is there evidence of training programmes?
  • Are the care assistants employed to look after the personal needs of the client, or do they undertake other duties?
  • What levels of care are available?
  • Does the home have a philosophy of care?

Financial Arrangements

  • What are the fees and what does this include?
  • Are there any extra charges for laundry, chiropody, hairdressing, incontinence products etc.?
  • What is the difference between local authority funding and the fees?
  • How are the payments to be made?
  • Who will administer my money and fees?
  • Will I be able to keep my banking arrangements confidential?
  • How often are rates of payment reviewed?
  • What insurance is in effect?
  • Do I need a policy to cover my belongings?

Rules & Procedures

  • What are the rules?
  • Is a contract offered to the clients?
  • Is there an agreed trial period following admission?
  • If I decide to leave, how much notice will I have to give?
  • In what circumstances could I be asked to leave? If so, how much notice would be given?
  • Is there a procedure for suggestions, comments and complaints?