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England's Top Ten

'Older' Care Homes

30 January 2020

Sarah Whitebloom

Just one in a thousand 'older' care homes have top marks from the care regulator. 

At any one time, only 10-12 homes in England specialising in older care - out of nearly 11,000 - can boast five 'Outstanding' stars from the CQC.  Another 40 have four stars. But nearly 200 homes, that's 1 home in 50 are 'Inadequate' and another one in five officially need improvement.

 These very best homes are incredibly diverse.  They are in every part of the country, Some specialise in dementia care, others are for more active pensioners.  A small minority are part of well-known national chains.  The majority are independent, family-owned or part of small groups.  

 Many of our 'top ten' are like to luxury hotels. Several charge more than £1,000 a week. But others accept local authority rates and 'top ups' from families.  They have two things in common, however: they provide outstanding care - and they prove that money is not everything.

  What marks them out are the official reports on these homes.  They show the sort of care residents receive in these homes and which all older people should be getting.  

These homes are outstanding because the care and the staff are outstanding and there are enough staff to care properly for residents, 


Arcot House
The Shelley
Haywards Heath
The Old Hall
Belsfield House
Wisteria House, Plymouth


You must not exclusively rely on current CQC ratings.  These can and do change. 

One care home, Middleton Hall, Darlington, which was in the Top Ten has been downgraded to 'Requires Improvement'.

Check out OLM's

Finding Good Care report, to see what else you need to do.

Older People Matter

Older people are under attack, blamed for everything from Brexit to poor housing.

They are an easy target. 'Old’ is no longer wise or experienced.  It is weakness and ignorance. We do not even record 'avoidable' deaths of people over 74.

OlderLivingMatters.net is a helping hand and friendly advice - when everything is confusing, nothing is straightforward and there is no one to ask.

2,108 care homes

never had a good report

OLM Exclusive Report


Where to go, what to do

OLM is packed with advice and information


How to Find a Good Care Home - OLM's warts and all checklist

You don't have to go into care - Living Options

What benefits and grants are available?

Health and Ageing - common complaints and issues 

What help is available - for the older person?

Family - You may not ever be able to do enough, but you can help.

News Briefs

Getting it wrong, making mistakes and caught out in a crisis - 

We've all been there.

Being part of the sandwich generation is no picnic



Winner: Ash Grange,

Can you ever do enough?

Caring for older friends and relatives can make you feel as though you can never do enough. It's not just a guilt trip. There really is so much to do and so many demands on your time - and you never seem to get it right.

 You may never shake off this feeling but there are plans you can make, things you can do, which can rationalise the situation and take the pressure off.  

If you want to make a point, open a Twitter account. If you want to be remembered fondly, be fair

Residential care is not the answer for everyone - or indeed most people.  It's expensive, sometimes very unpleasant and one day, hopefully, will be consigned to history along with 'lunatic asylums' and other such institutions which were once thought to be a good idea.  There are ways to change the system

Essential for every older person. But BE CAREFUL

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© 2017 by OlderLivingMatters   All text and original photos subject to copyright                    sarah.whitebloom.news@gmail.com

OlderLivingMatters is a journalistic website offering information, guidance and advice based on experience of life today for older people. It is designed to be a friendly hand in difficulties and to highlight the problems of older people and their families. As with any friend, it is not perfect and will not have all the answers all of the time. Everyone’s situation is different and this needs to be taken this into account if you take action. Please be aware that you use the information and advice on this website at your own risk and it is not responsible or liable if things go wrong.