Fulfilled living in later life
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Choosing a care home

Whether it is for yourself or a loved one, choosing a care home is a big decision.


At Pilgrims’ Friend Society, we believe that every older person should have the opportunity to live a fulfilled later life. Finding the right care home can play a huge part in that.

Here are some things to bear in mind…


12 things icons 1 Ethos

1 Ethos

The ethos of a home will influence its approach to care. All Pilgrims’ Friend Society homes are founded on the belief that older people are precious in God’s sight and should therefore be treated as such.

12 things icons 2 Needs

2 Your needs

A care needs assessment from a local authority can help you identify your level of need and guide you towards a home where this will be met. To find out how to apply for this assessment, visit www.gov.uk/apply-needs-assessment-social-services

12 things icons 3 Funding

3 Funding

Depending on your financial circumstances, you may be eligible for funding from your local authority. Where relevant, this level of funding will be determined following your care needs assessment, and you may need to check if the care home you are considering is accepting residents with local authority funding.

12 things icons 4 Location

4 Location

Maybe you want to stay in your local area, close to family and friends. Or perhaps you’d like to move to a new area to be nearer loved ones. Would you like to be an urban or rural environment? Or do you want to be close to the sea? You have a right to move to a care home anywhere in England, as long as it can meet your needs and is affordable to you.

12 things icons 5 Size

5 Size

Research suggests that smaller household settings are best-placed to provide personalised care and support. In larger care homes, a household atmosphere can be made possible through the organisation of staff teams/physical space.

12 things icons 6 Facilities

6 Facilities

As well as finding out what the bedrooms are like, you’ll want to know about the communal spaces. What are the lounges/ dining areas like? Is there a garden or patio area? In the case of an older home, how well has it been adapted to meet modern standards?

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The Way We Care

Our unique approach to ensuring that older people have all that they need to flourish in their later years.

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Dementia care

We support those living with dementia to live a happy and fulfilled life.

12 things icons 7 Care Plans

7 Care plans

Homes should draw up a care plan in collaboration with you to ensure your needs and wishes are met. This can cover everything from personal care to your social interests, personal relationships, hobbies and emotional, spiritual and cultural needs.

12 things icons 8 Staffing

8 Staffing

A care home has a duty to provide 24-hour care. The home’s team of carers will be overseen by a Registered Care Manager – you may want to find out the ratio of carers to residents. Other staff roles found at a typical care home include: Business Manager, Activities Co-ordinator, Catering Manager/ Catering Assistant, Maintenance Officer and Housekeeper.

12 things icons 9 Activities

9 Activities

Many homes provide a rota of activities, for example, crafts, cooking, gardening, armchair exercises. This will often be led by an Activities Co-ordinator. Activities may also be led/supported by volunteers. A home may be able to provide you with a sample activities rota.

12 things icons 10 Spiritual

10 Spiritual well-being

If you are person of faith, living in community with others who share that faith can be enormously encouraging. At Pilgrims’ Friend Society homes, all our senior managers are Christian and the life of the home includes devotional times and opportunities for prayer. Local clergy also visit to provide spiritual support.

12 things icons 11 Food

11 Food

To cater for different tastes, many homes offer more than one choice at mealtimes. You may be able to ask for a sample menu. Special dietary requirement should be provided for, but it’s worth knowing what this might look like in practice. You can also check the Food Standards Agency’s rating for the home – five is the highest rating.

12 things icons 12 Care

12 Dementia care/ other specialised care

If you are living with dementia, it is essential to find a home where staff are specially trained in dementia care. Similarly, if you need to know how other specialist needs (mobility, sight issues learning disabilities) will be supported.

Badge care quality commission

Care Quality Commission (CQC) rating

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the independent regulator of health and social care in England. Following an inspection, a home is given a rating – Outstanding, Good, Requires Improvement or Inadequate. A care provider has a duty to display their CQC rating in a place that is visible, including on their website.

To find out more about the Care Quality Commission, visit www.cqc.org.uk