OLM's Top 10

Care Home Tips


1. Check the CQC website.


It is far from perfect, but it's what we’ve got. The regulator inspects all care organisations in England and gives them a rating - 'Outstanding', 'Good', 'Requires Improvement' and 'Inadequate.

But - click here

2. Scratch and sniff: scratch the smart surface and check the odours.


Click here

3. Who is the owner?


  Just because the home is owned by a large corporate group does not mean it’s going to be better.

Quite the reverse.

See here

4. Try to catch them out: You need to know what it is like to live there.

See here

5.  Is the manager out of 'carry on caring'?  

This is not about appearance, gender or sex. Care home leadership is vital.


​See here

6.  Read the marketing material, then put it in the bin. It’s probably rubbish


See here​



7. Do not be deceived by posh surroundings.

Attractive scatter cushions and matching soft furnishings are just superficial and do not make up for poor care.


See here​

8. What is the resident to staff ratio?  


Do not be blinded by science. You may be told that the staff/resident ratio is worked out using a ‘tool’ which assesses residents’ needs. This usually means the home is understaffed.


​ See here

9. What is staff turnover like and what is the policy on agency workers?

This can be a tell-tale sign of real problems.



10. Can you imagine your relative (or you) living there?




Bonus point:   Close to home.  


  • Make sure the home is close to where you live, so you can visit frequently and at different times of day.

  • Even the best homes get better if there is always a chance that you may drop in suddenly.

  • And good homes can deteriorate rapidly, if there is a change in staff or management. 

  • It’s a sad fact that residents whose families live locally and visit regularly, get better treatment.

  • Ask a carer...or maybe not

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