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Care homes What to look for

What to look for

What to look for

You have the right to visit a care home at least once before moving in, to help you decide if you want to move in permanently.

You should think about the following things during your trial visit:


When deciding the location of your care home, bear in mind the following points:

  • Is the care home near enough to your family and friends?
  • Does it have easy access or local transport to shops and leisure activities?
  • Will you have access to a local GP, medical centre or other healthcare services like the dentist? Will your GP visit the care home?


All care homes must give you a room of your own. Double-rooms are available in some private care homes for single-occupancy by paying an extra charge. Double-rooms  where available  can be provided for couples.

Other facilities to consider:

  • What is provided in the room? Can you bring some of your own furniture and possessions?
  • Does the care home have visiting services like hairdressers, chiropodists or library services?
  • Does the care home have flexible meal times? What are the meals like? Are special dietary needs catered for?


Are the rooms and communal areas clean and well-cared for? Are the grounds or garden well-maintained? Is the furniture and equipment in good repair and suitable for your needs?


Staff should be friendly and helpful and welcome your questions.

Read Age UK's Care Home Checklist (PDF, 227 KB)

Watch the College of Occupational Therapists' video on choosing a care home.

The information was last updated on: 27th August 2020


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