How to choose the right care home for your loved one

April 03, 2019

In Holmes Care Group

Choosing the right care home for you or a loved one can be a confusing and daunting task. With competing advice and a vast number of choices out there, how can you be sure you have made the right decision?

At Holmes Care Group we believe in empowering people to make the best choice for their personal needs. We make sure all potential residents and their loved ones are given the information they need to make an informed choice, allowing them to be confident they have picked the right home, that meets their personal needs and where they will be happy and well cared for. Here are some of our top‐tips for choosing a care home:

Take your time! 

As with any big decision, choosing a care home is not a choice that should be rushed. 

We understand that the need to make a quick decision can sometimes be out of your hands, especially if your loved one is moving from a hospital into a care home, however wherever possible our number one piece of advice is to take your time. If possible, start thinking and planning for future care needs before you need to make a decision. 

At Holmes Care Group we never rush potential residents to make a decision. Instead we support and empower them and their loved ones to make informed choices and ultimately find a care home where they feel safe, happy and have their individual needs met.

Think about your care needs. 

When choosing a care home one of the most important questions to ask is whether the home will meet your or your loved one’s care needs. There are different types of care homes, each catering to different levels of need. For example, a resident requiring residential care will need a different set of services than one that requires dementia or nursing care. Some care homes offer all these services in one home, while others prefer to cater for specific needs. 

It’s important to consider which type of home will best suit your current and future needs. To find out what care services are on offer at Holmes Care Group visit here.

Location, Location, Location 

For many residents finding a care home in their local community is the number one priority – helping them maintain links with their family, friends and community. For others, finding a quiet spot near the country or seaside is preferable. 

Whether you are looking for a care home in Essex or in Glasgow, it’s important to think about the distances family and friends may need to travel and how easy it is to get there, especially if you are relying on public transport. A variety of online tools, for example Google Maps, can help you assess transport options and local authorities and GP practices often have lists of care homes in your area.

Activities Programme 

A good care home should have a wide range of activities and events on offer for residents to enjoy – from day trips, to garden parties, bingo games and sing‐alongs. 

When you tour a care home make sure you speak to the Activities Coordinator and ask to see their activities programme. A good programme should have something on offer for everyone, no matter their ability, age or personality type. You can also visit our News section to see some of the activities Holmes Care Group offers for our own residents – from Valentine’s Day events at Larkfield View in Greenock to Garden Parties at Sycamore Court in Brentwood, Essex – or contact your local Holmes Care Group home for a full listing of activities our residents will be enjoying this week

Inspection Reports 

Familiarise yourself with the most recent inspection report for the home. The Care Quality Commission inspects homes in England while the Care Inspectorate Scotland and Care Inspectorate Wales focus on those respective countries. 

Each review and grade a home in a different way, but all base their assessment on visiting for just one or two days, meaning they can often show a snapshot picture of what a home is like. 

Therefore, don’t let those be the sole indicator of whether a home is right for you. Care home comparison sites like are also excellent indicators of what life is like at a care home. These sites allow residents and relatives to review individual care homes and display ratings out of 10 for each home. Reviews like this give an overview of real experiences over a longer time period and shows an accurate picture of the long‐term quality of care and service provided.

Visit the Home 

This will give you a better idea of day‐to‐day things like amenities and the food menu, but it also gives you the chance to ask any questions, view the facilities and speak to other residents, their families and staff about their experiences. 

This is where you’ll get the best feel of what life is like at the care home across a longer time period. It’s important you feel comfortable with the staff team and fellow residents and that you can see you or your loved one being happy in their new home.

Care Provider’s vision 

Finally, do a little bit of research into the care provider, not just the home. These are, after all, the people ultimately responsible for delivering care. 

Ask yourself what is the company’s ethos? What motivates them to look after elderly communities? For Holmes Care Group, for example, our goal is to enrich the lives of not only the people we look after, but also their families, our employees and our local communities. A good care provider will be focussed on more than just profit. They will genuinely want to make a difference to the lives of the people they care for. 

In the end, it comes down to gut feeling – you can research the care provider and home for hours, but the only way you will truly know is when you visit the home and picture yourself or a loved one living there. 

If you want to find out more about the services Holmes Care Group offers please call 01708 251227 or visit http://www.holmes‐‐services

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Kind words from our residents and their families

Baytree Court

Baytree Court is a very relaxed home, pleasant staff and one of the nicest homes I visit, always get a smile. Service users seem happy.

Glenys Newbury - Health Care Community Worker

Almond View Care Home

To all the staff at Almond View - a big thank you for looking after Mum, with such kindness and dedication. Despite living 400 miles away, I always had a good feeling that she was in good hands. When I did visit, the staff without exception, stopped to chat to us even though they were extremely busy. Please accept my heart felt thank you to you all - a real credit to Almond View.


Bankview Care Home

Thank you for the excellent level of care that my father, Frank Boyle, has received. Bankview demonstrated for us the template for a care home and how it should feel and be run. Friendly, welcoming, excellent care levels, length of time staff remain loyal to the home and above all a clear and comforting atmosphere of great leadership.

Barbara and Jan

Social Work Department

Bankview Day care is welcoming and homely, meeting a wide range of needs with well trained staff and individual care for each client.

Bankview Day Care Centre

Bankview Day Care Centre

I understand why mum loves coming to Bank view Day-care it’s a home from home and the activities offered are excellent

J Campbell

Bankview Day Care Centre

The day care centre has made a huge difference to my life. Best thing I ever done, my week was boring now I have days out and shopping trips and good company.

R Burns

Baytree Court Care Home

We can not thank you enough for all the care, support and attention the staff at Baytree Court have given Marc. The staff have always given their time and support to us on visits which has meant a great deal.

Doreen and Yvonne

Beechwood Care Home

Both mum and I were most impressed with Beechwood and we have decided that is where we would like Dad to come to. You have put both mine and mum's minds at rest knowing that Dad will be looked after.

Thank You

Susan Gibson

K Macdonald in memory of my Aunt Jean

I can't exaggerate the admiration I have for the management and staff of Craigielea. I've never experienced so much patience, coaxing, kindness and care. These people share their lives and emotions, laugh and cry and mourn for the people who entrust themselves to care.

Craigielea Care Home

J Ellis in memory of Steve

The staff talked about my best friend being an inspiration to them, despite his illness It made me change my approach with him, instead of being despondent and sad, I spoke with him the way we had always been with each other. The staff saw him as a person.

Craigielea Care Home

Shelagh Goldie

My uncle, who is a retired GP, recently visited Dad on a trip over from Canada and commented that Craigielea is one of the best places he has ever seen in his experience of elderly care units. Very homely, calm, relaxing and wonderful staff. Keep up the fantastic work you do!


Cranham Court

I am writing to put on record how grateful, I and my family, are for the excellent care George received while in your care. He could not have had more or better care.  Please pass on to your staff our appreciation of their kindness, help and caring attention we all received.

From the greeting at my first visit,  I felt the genuine care and pride in their work shown by your staff.  I cannot praise too highly, all of your caring staff for their dedication. I thank you so much.  

Beryl Ford and Family

Cranham Court

My mother was placed in this home by Queen's Hospital, Romford, on Gold Standard End of Life care. Consequently, she was only there for a short period of six weeks. During that period she was kept safe, warm and clean and was treated kindly with respect. The patience of the nursing/support staff was outstanding. Everyone from Matron, Admin, Cleaning and Laundry staff was caring, considerate and obliging. True professionalism and quality of care. 

Tudy Cannin in memory of Mrs I M Haselgrove

Cranham Court

A lovely home with working professional angels. Cannot recommend this enough. My mother was really looked after and her needs were met. They cared, supported, listened and had empathy. The home has beautiful grounds, rooms lovely warm and cosy and always a welcoming helpful face around.Will always be grateful for everything they all did.

Grandholm Care Home

In all my visits I have been most impressed with the Care and Attention shown by all your staff, who are professional and courteous at all times. We are always welcomed with a friendly smile which makes us feel very much part of the home and being involved

J Barber

Grandholm Care Home

Please accept my sincere congratulations for performance and efficiency of Grandholm Care Home. The home provides a very professional, caring and motivational environment with an abundance of patience and understanding. The home is a credit to your team and one of the best in Aberdeen.

I McCormack

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