Guidelines for Selecting Residential Care Homes
Finding a home
If you are financially independent, you may obviously
approach any of the Homes within the private and voluntarily sector
directly, and make your own arrangements.
However, if you need help in finding the right Home, or need
financial assistance, then your local Social Services Department
will offer an assessment of your needs and help in planning your
care. You will find the address of your local office at the
end of this section of the booklet. If you require financial
assistance, you should not enter into any agreement with a Home
until you have ascertained what financial help is available.
Whoever is paying for your residential care, it is best to make a
visit to several Homes before making a final choice. Wherever
possible the person who will be living in the Home should be
involved at every stage of the selection process.
When you are considering a Home, it may be helpful if you look at
some of the points:
- Are the physical conditions suitable, e.g. is
there a lift, handrails, ramps for wheelchairs, bathing aids, locks
on doors ?
- Does the Home provide a clear statement of the facilities
available and the financial terms?
- Are the residents able to use their own furniture
and make their bedroom individual to them ?
- Are the shared areas homely, clean and sweet smelling ?
- Is the quality, quantity, and variety of food
- Do staffing arrangements appear to be satisfactory and do staff
treat residents with dignity, respect and friendliness ?
- Are there any activities arranged and what
encouragement is given to residents to help them pursue their own
- Are there any limitations on visiting ?
- Are the arrangements for Health Care suitable
- Would there be a trial period?
Every residential care home is regulated by the
Care Quality Commission
(CQC). The CQC published reports about care homes.
These reports are public and individual homes have copies of their
reports, which they should show you if you ask. If there is a
problem about seeing a report at the home then you can also read
them on-line at the CQC website, Public computers are available at
Bedford Library. Also by prior arrangement you could see them at
Borough Hall or at the CQC.
Principles of residential care and good practice
In order to help you make your decision about whether
the care offered is likely to meet your needs, you may also want to
consider the following issues.
Residents should be able to maintain their
rights as a citizen including the freedom of personal religious or
political expression. The Home Manager should support this view and
must ensure that any restriction of a persons rights (for theirs or
others protection) should only happen after full consultation with
everyone involved, unless it is an emergency. Any such restrictions
must be explained to the person concerned, recorded and regularly
Residents should be helped to think and act independently. The
Homes Manager must ensure that each resident's situation is
carefully monitored to ensure a reasonable balance is achieved
between independence and risk taking.
Being able to exercise choice is very important to all our well
being and care staff should actively encourage residents to make
informed choices wherever possible. They should establish the
residents wishes regarding the care they wish to receive in the
home. Residents should also be able to have to access to external
advice, representation and where necessary advocacy.
Treating a person with dignity involves recognising their value
as an individual and acknowledging their uniqueness. It means
treating each person with respect. Care staff should treat all
residents with respect and dignity.
Residents should be encouraged to use their skills, pursue their
interests and maintain and make new relationships, which may
include sexual relationships and/or marriage. A good home will
build on residents' strengths, such as experience and knowledge,
whilst meeting the needs which the resident themselves cannot meet
because of their own physical or mental condition.
Residents have the right, if they wish, to be alone, undisturbed
and free from intrusion. However there are situations where it
would not appear to be in the interests of the resident to remain
isolated in their own room. In these circumstances advice should be
offered in consultation with relatives and all the appropriate
Any difficulties, which arise in a home, should be
referred to the person in charge at the time of the incident. If
possible, problems should be resolved by that person or by the
Owner or Manager. If you are still not satisfied with the outcome
then please report the facts to:
Care Quality Commission
Tel: 03000 616161