Choosing a Home
Ten key things to look for when looking around a care home:
FEEL – Ask yourself what is your immediate feeling when you walk into the care home? Is it depressing, stagnant, hospital or hotel-like? Or does it feel full of people getting on with living and is it a place where people really matter?
LOOK – Think about what the care home looks like? Is it sterile, clinical/boring and empty? Or does it look colourful, busy and engaging? Does it give you the feeling of being at home?
LIVE – Look around the home; are people being looked after as a group or as individuals? Are people being treated as objects and just as bodies? Or is it clear to you that people’s past lives and memories really matter to the staff team?
CONNECT – Watch how people are spoken to and ask yourself does it feel right? Are people being herded around the home and controlled? Or are staff being close with people and connecting in sensitive ways?
OCCUPY – Consider how people are being individually occupied. Does it seem as if the only activities provided are traditional organised events? Or are people getting involved in domestic jobs and bits of their past work lives? Are they surrounded by lots of stuff to occupy themselves with?
COMFORT – Come to your own conclusion about whether people have a sense of well-being and comfort? Do people in the home seem to be in a state of ill-being? Or are people looking happy, content and comfortable?
REACH – Listen and ask yourself ‘do the sort of behaviours occurring in the home feel right? Are people expressing lots of ‘behaviours’ and are the staff looking lost at what to do? Or are people’s feelings responded to immediately and staff detect the meaning behind people’s feelings?
SHARE – Learn whether the home feels family like and has a sense of a shared community. Is there a sense of ‘us and them’ barriers in the home? Or are people living and working alongside each other, more like a family being together?
RELAX – Conclude if the home is ran on tasks and routines? Has the home got a regimented task-oriented feel? Or does the home and staff feel relaxed where people matter first and jobs still get discreetly done?
SECURE – Consider if there is an equal emphasis on providing both physical and emotional security? Does the home feel controlling and overly focused on limiting people’s lives? Or are people helped to feel free and safe, while being encouraged to live an ordinary life?