Guides to care

Checklist for Choosing a Care Home

Checklist for Choosing a Care Home The Mayfield Care Home

First Impressions

  • Do the drive and entrance of the home appear well-kept?
  • Are the buildings and grounds well maintained?
  • Is there an accessible garden or courtyard?
  • Are there nice views from the home?
  • Do the staff seem welcoming?
  • Is there a welcoming and helpful person at the front desk?


  • Can friends and family able to get there easily?
  • Is there parking?
  • Is there good wheelchair access into and within the building, including wide doorways?
  • Is the garden accessible for residents?


  • Are staff welcoming and engaged?
  • Do staff get to know about residents’ lives?
  • Is there a manager in post and a senior member of staff on duty at all times?
  • What is the ratio of staff to residents?
  • Can residents choose if they have a male or female carer?
  • Are all staff trained in caring for residents with dementia?

Meeting Care Needs

  • What care does your loved one need?
  • Does the home support those with sensory impairments or dementia?
  • Do residents have a named member of staff who is particularly responsible for their care?
  • Are residents and their families involved in decisions about their care?
  • Do health staff such as district nurses and chiropodists visit regularly?
  • Does the home offer end-of-life care?

General Considerations

  • What security is in place to keep residents safe?
  • How do residents call for assistance?
  • Can residents choose their routine, such as when they get up and go to bed?
  • Can residents bring their own furniture and belongings?
  • Can residents choose whether they have a bath or shower, and how often?
  • Do all rooms have ensuite wetrooms?


  • Do residents usually eat together, or can they choose to eat in their rooms?
  • Is there a choice of food and can you see sample menus?
  • How often do menus change?
  • Is food prepared on the premises?
  • Can the home meet your dietary needs?
  • Are there pleasant dining rooms with properly laid tables?

Socialising & Activities

  • Are residents encouraged to stay active?
  • Is there an activities co-ordinator?
  • Do residents seem happy?
  • Would you feel comfortable socialising in the home’s common areas?
  • Are there facilities such as a cinema, a library, lounges, newspapers, a beauty salon, a garden room?
  • Are there regular activities such as music, singing, exercise classes, gardening, celebrations for special occasions, visits from entertainers, and outings to shops, entertainment venues or places of worship?


  • Are there any restrictions on visiting?
  • Are children welcome?
  • Are there spaces for residents to spend time with visitors?
  • Are visitors able to visit during mealtimes and can they have meals with residents?

Contracts & Fees

  • Can you see a copy of the home’s contract and terms and conditions?
  • Can you stay for a trial period?
  • What is your budget and what are the home’s fees?
  • Is it clear how the fees are structured, calculated and collected?
  • Are any extra items or services not covered by the basic fees clearly identified and accounted for?
  • Are any fees payable after a resident’s death?
  • Is a deposit or advance payment required?

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