Choosing the right home for you

14 March 2023

Choosing the right home for you

For families and friends looking for care for a loved one or for someone looking for care themselves, the range of homes and options can be quite overwhelming and for many a struggle. It can be daunting trying to decide where to begin to look first. At Tanglewood Care Homes we want to support you as much as possible with this decision, even if its not one of our homes you end up choosing.

We would always advise you research any potential short-listed homes via their company website,, considering reviews and ratings and reading the latest CQC report. We would also recommend checking whether they offer the level of care you require and if they have any vacancies at the time or if you need to join a waiting list.

Finding the correct home environment and care facilities to meet someone’s needs are crucial in a resident having a happy and fulfilled stay. We also advise taking a checklist with you and a list of important questions that will help you choose the right fit for you.

Please see the list below, which can be used when visiting a care home.

 Impressions of the home

  • Does the home have an accessible outside garden area?
  • Has the building been maintained?
  • Do the team seem welcoming?
  • Is the home clean?
  • Does the home smell fresh?
  • Is the home a comfortable temperature?
  • Is the home well decorated?


  • Is there good wheelchair access within the building?
  • Did you find the home easily?
  • Was there onsite parking?

Team members

  • Have the team been welcoming and helpful?
  • What is the team/resident ratio?
  • Are all team members trained to care for residents with dementia?
  • How are team members trained?
  • How do team members learn about the residents’ lives and experiences?
  • Is there always a senior team member on site?

Care Needs

  • Does the home complete an assessment for all residents before agreeing to accept them?
  • Do residents have a dedicated team member who is responsible for their care?
  • Are loved ones involved in care decisions?
  • If care needs change or increase, will you have to move home?
  • Do all rooms have ensuite wet rooms?
  • Are residents supported to the toilet if needed?
  • Does the home have a specific GP, or will you keep your own GP practice?
  • Do health staff resident regularly, opticians, chiropodist, dentist, district nurses?
  • Who decides when a health check-up is needed?
  • Is transport provided for hospital and clinic appointments?
  • Will team members accompany residents to appointments?
  • How does the home inform family members of a change in health?
  • Can the home offer palliative care?


  • What are visiting requirements?
  • Are there set times for visiting?
  • Are children allowed to visit?
  • Are pets allowed to visit?
  • Can a resident be taken out for the day? Or overnight?
  • Can loves ones have a meal with residents?


  • Can residents eat in their room?
  • If eating in their room, will they be offered the same menu?
  • Outside of the menu can residents request something different?
  • Can you meet dietary needs?
  • Are snacks available?
  • Is all food prepared on site?
  • How often does the menu change?
  • Is a sample menu available?


  • Can residents choose their routine, such as when they get up and when they go to bed?
  • Is an alarm bell in all rooms?
  • Can residents choose what they wear?
  • Can residents bring their own furniture?
  • Are there arrangements for handling residents’ money?
  • Is there a safe in residents’ bedrooms?
  • What security is in place to ensure residents are safe?
  • Is there a mix of female and male residents?


  • Do residents seem happy and occupies?
  • Are there facilities and social areas?
  • Is there an activities team?
  • Are residents’ preferences considered when planning activities?
  • Are team members spending time with residents?
  • Is there tv, radio, library, newspapers, internet access, hairdressing services?
  • Is there a sample activities planner?

Contracts and Fee’s

  • Can you see a copy of the homes contract?
  • Is there a trial period?
  • What happens if you are unhappy once you move in?
  • Are notice periods reasonable?
  • What are the homes fees?
  • When do they increase?
  • Is a deposit or advanced payment required?
  • Are extra services included?

Feedback, compliments, and complaints

  • Are you encouraged to provide feedback?
  • Is there a complaints procedure?
  • Can team members explain the procedures to you?

Download your Care Home Checklist

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