You are here

Residential care: when the time is right

It’s very likely that, deep down, you’ll know when it’s the right time to consider permanent residential care for your loved one – there may be a single trigger that tips the scale. 

Anyone who has gone through the process of finding a care home for a loved one will tell you about the jumble of emotions they experienced.

Gwen and JanInitially you might feel guilty that you’re letting your loved one down. You may feel like you’ve failed, particularly if you once promised them that you’d never ‘put them in a home’. It’s important to understand that all of these emotions are absolutely natural and normal, and that many families experience them. 

At Care UK our teams work hard to turn families’ emotions into positive ones like reassurance, relief and peace of mind. 

Tackling the subject of care

If your loved one is against moving into a care home it’s likely to be because they are afraid. They may have preconceived ideas about care homes, they may be scared of losing their individuality, or even of being forgotten about. What’s important is to be tentative when discussing it. Listen to their fears and reassure them that they would only move somewhere that was right for them, and where they would be happy. Focus on the positives of a care home and try not to rush things. 

Our helping hand guide gives a number of ideas you might find helpful in your conversations together with some of the benefits of care home living.

Choosing the right care home

Deciding to move a loved one into permanent residential care can be one of the biggest, and most difficult decisions, you’ll make in life. But once you’ve made that decision, you’ll want to find the best possible home for them.

There are many types of care homes from residential to those providing nursing care and dementia care. Talk to your GP and other healthcare professionals to understand what care your loved one may need. Your local authority social services team can arrange a free care needs assessment.

Our leaflet ‘Choosing a care home check list’ is a useful document that you can take with you when visiting care homes. Download your copy for free or pick one up from your nearest Care UK care home

Starting your search

You can research a care home online and from this build a shortlist of homes to visit. 

Care regulators: The established independent regulator for care homes in England is called the Care Quality Commission, or CQC. They undertake regular inspections of all care homes to ensure they meet government standards. The CQC’s website is In Scotland, the independent regulator is the Care Inspectorate, 

In Wales, it is the Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales (CSSIW),

You can get a good idea of what a care home is like by looking at relatives and residents reviews of care homes on, which is an independent review site.

Many homes have their own facebook pages so it’s always worth taking a look to see what residents do in the home. You’ll soon know whether your loved one’s days will be fun and fulfilled.

Listen to the true experts

We’ve asked three relatives to share their recent experiences of looking for a care home, the emotions they felt and how they now feel since their loved one has moved into a Care UK home.

Find out what Janet recommends when looking for a care home


Lindsay gives advice on choosing the best home


Janet also talks about how she felt about her mum coming into a care home


Find out how Louise feels now that her dad has moved into a home 


A helping hand guideHave you got your free guides?

‘A helping hand’ is a free Care UK guide specifically for families who are going through the process of deciding about the next steps for their loved one’s care. It covers a wealth of topics, from recognising when the time is right to consider residential care, to what to look for when visiting a care home, and how to help your relative settle in. Download your copy for free, or pick one up from your nearest Care UK care home

In our March edition…..

We hear from families on how moving into a Care UK care home has helped their loved ones to start a new chapter in their lives, as well as having positive benefits on their own well-being.