Making the right decision
Many people arrange their own care but often it is a family member or friend who asks the questions and becomes closely involved in helping someone move into residential care.
You may be trying to make arrangements from a distance, or you may be living with a person who has many care needs and it may be difficult for you to come to the decision that residential care is what your relative or friend needs.
Before making a final decision and looking for a care home, it’s a good idea to explore other options as there may be an alternative. See the information in our Managing at Home section and look at the Other housing options.
Residential care can often last a long time so it is important that your relative or friend (or their legal representative) considers the implications of any move, including its financial consequences, at the beginning so as to try to avoid a move at a later date.
See our information on paying for care in the Money matters section.
Continuing to care
You will want to continue supporting your friend or relative when they are living in a care home. Here are some things to think about:
Your relative or friend should get an annual review of the care they need, so ask to be present at discussions.
Join the Relatives and Residents Association group at the home.
If you want to do an activity with your friend or relative talk to the home about how best you can do this.
Keep an eye on the inspection reports.
Ask when the inspectors are making their next visit so that you can meet them and talk to them.
Support and advice
The Relatives and Residents Association can give you information and advice and may be able to put you in touch with local groups whose members have gone through the experience of helping someone move into residential care.
Advice line 020 7359 8136. (Weekdays 9.30am to 4.30pm)
The Association of Independent Care Advisers represents organisations based in the UK dedicated to helping people identify the most appropriate type of care service and care provider for their individual needs. Telephone 01483 203066.
See also our Carers section