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What are Care UK care homes really like?

About care homes

We take the popular myths about care homes and compare them to what life is really like in a Care UK care home.

Myth: “Care homes are depressing places, with old people left in a circle.”

Fact: We believe that moving into a Care UK home is the start of an exciting new phase of your loved one’s life. Daily activities, outings and entertainment, and great facilities, from cafés to hair salons, pubs to cinemas, all mean that your loved one can rediscover past hobbies, explore new interests, and generally enjoy a fantastic lifestyle.

At Care UK, all our home teams make meaningful activity an essential part of care, so residents can live each day in the way they want.

Myth: “Residents have to eat their meals at set times.”

Fact: While there are set mealtimes in Care UK homes, residents can eat at a time they would like, and wherever they would like – in our bistro-style dining rooms, in a lounge or in their bedroom.

Our chefs ensure that residents enjoy nutritious and delicious choices at every meal, from the option of a cooked breakfast each morning through to a three-course main meal every day. And if there isn’t anything they fancy, chefs will prepare something different. Residents can also help themselves to snacks and drinks from well stocked kitchenettes or food stations around the home 24 hours a day.

Myth: “You have to go to sleep at set times.”

Fact: At Care UK, our person-centred approach to care means that residents decide how they want to live their life, and that includes the time they want to get up and go to bed. Our teams learn each resident’s personal preferences so that we can ensure that person lives each day in the way they want. If a person likes to wake up with a cup of tea and read the paper in bed before they get up, then they can.

Dementia can have an impact on a person’s sleep patterns, so our homes often run activities late at night for those who can’t sleep. They might offer a warm drink to aid sleep, and colleagues may also wear their own nightclothes to help orientate residents to the time of day. 

Myth: “You can’t take your pet into a care home.”

Fact: We understand how important pets are to the people we care for. Many of our homes have their own home pets, from cats and dogs to birds, rabbits, guinea pigs and chickens. In many homes, there are canine relations managers, such as Mabel at Deewater Grange in Chester

All our homes have pet therapy animals who visit residents and visitors are welcome to bring their dogs,

If there’s a pet that your loved one can’t face parting with, then there’s a good chance that it will be able to come and live with them in their new Care UK home. A number of our homes, including Mildenhall Lodge, are registered with The Cinnamon Trust’s Pet Friendly Care Home and Retirement Housing register.

Myth: “There’s no interaction with other residents.”

Fact: Every Care UK home has a lifestyle team whose job it is to organise and run daily group and one-to-one activities, all tailored to residents’ interests. Our homes also run clubs for people with the same interests, whether it’s knitting, dancing, gardening or photography. By doing activities, and joining likeminded people in activities, it’s impossible not to make new friends! We’ve lost count of the number of relatives who say their loved one’s social life is now much better than their own!

Myth: “The care isn’t one-to-one.”

Fact: At Care UK, we understand that, even if a person isn’t being nursed in bed, they may prefer to stay in their bedroom. Some people may also not enjoy activities with others. Our colleagues spend quality one-to-one time with residents. We learn all about their interests and preferences and plan their care accordingly. We’ll support your loved one to do whatever they want, whether it’s reading the paper together, working on their life story book, or enjoying a shopping trip into town.

We also have professional performers and therapy animals who visit residents in their bedrooms. It’s not unusual to see miniature ponies and even penguins wondering into someone’s room for a stroke and a cuddle.

Myth: “You can’t be independent in a care home.”

Fact: At Care UK, all members of our home teams will support your loved one to be as independent as possible – whatever that looks like for them. Your loved one can have a job around the home. And if there’s a passion that they’re keen to share, they’re welcome to lead an activity or give a talk.  We’ll support your loved one to keep mobile, to go shopping, go for a pub meal, attend a community group or place of worship and to make their own drinks and snacks if they wish.

Doug, a resident of Mowat Court in Stonehaven, and a gentleman who is living with dementia, has been travelling around Scotland seeing the sights!

Myth: “Care homes are like institutions.”

Fact: Visit a Care UK home and the words ‘bright’, ‘modern’, ‘spacious’ and ‘comfortable’ come to mind. All our homes offer a warm and friendly welcome, with cosy and inviting lounges and communal spaces. Visitors often comment that our new homes are like five-star hotels that offer care, with cinemas, coffee shops and hair salons.

Myth: “The food is unappetising and boring.”

Fact: Every Care UK home has a chef-led kitchen team that takes pride in delivering delicious and nutritious meals that are tailored to residents’ tastes, cultural and nutritional needs.

Residents provide regular feedback, and the chef will ensure this is reflected in the menus.

We encourage a five-star dining experience across all our homes, which is fostered by our annual Chef of the Year competition and many of our chefs have worked in top hotels and restaurants.

Myth: “You’re cut off from your normal life”

Fact: We’re passionate about supporting residents in our homes to keep connected to their local communities, as well as friends and family. Our homes have strong links with their local communities, and residents often get out and about to their preferred places of worship, on shopping trips, to local clubs and groups, or to local schools to watch performances or take part in activities.

Care UK homes are the hub of their local community, with visitors popping in throughout the day, including mother and toddler groups and children from local nurseries and schools.

Our teams also work hard to ensure residents can keep in touch with their loved ones, wherever they are. We use the latest technology to do videocalls with relatives who live long distances away. We also support residents to write letters to friends old and new - many homes have penpal clubs with other Care UK homes and schools.

We’re here to answer any questions you may have about living in a Care UK home. Simply call our team on 0330 1271 481.