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Choosing a care home

There are many different types of care home in Derbyshire where a number of people live together and are looked after by care staff 24 hours per day.

Finding a care home - lists, availability and help

We run several of our own residential homes as well as contracting with independent providers and nursing homes across the county. You can find out more about care homes in Derbyshire by:

All of these information sources contain our own services as well as private and voluntary-run homes.

Types of care

Residential care homes provide accommodation, meals and assistance with personal care for adults who are no longer able to live independently at home due to physical or learning disabilities, sight or hearing loss, frailty or illness.

Nursing care provides the same level of care as residential homes but with the addition of qualified nursing staff who are on duty 24 hours a day.

Short breaks, respite or short-term care are for people who need care and support on a short-term basis. Short-term care can be used when someone is recovering from a period of ill health or for further support after a hospital stay. The service can also give carers the chance to take a break.

Care home regulation

Registered care homes are regulated by the Care Quality Commission. They're inspected to make sure they reach an approved standard.

If you're looking for a care home, it's worth visiting their website where you'll find further information including star ratings and copies of inspection reports. Copies of the report should also be made available to view at the home.

Questions to ask when choosing a care home

  1. If you have a hearing loss or impairment, does the home have adequate equipment to allow you full access to all activities?
  2. If you have a vision loss or impairment, will you be able to walk around the home and grounds with ease? Will any special equipment be available to you?
  3. Have all staff been trained to be aware of any sensory needs you may have?
  4. Are the buildings and grounds well maintained?
  5. Are the staff friendly, welcoming and interested?
  6. Are the residents relaxed, happy, confident and occupied?
  7. Does the home look and smell clean?
  8. How many staff are on duty during each part of the day or night? What are their duties? To what level are they trained?
  9. If night care is offered, you may wish to telephone at night and see what response it draws. Remember – the person answering the call will be dealing with you or your relatives.
  10. What time are meals served? Is there a choice of menu alternatives?
  11. Are there facilities for preparing your own snacks and drinks?
  12. Do you have a choice of single or shared rooms? Do they offer any ensuite facilities? How any communal rooms are there?
  13. What arrangements are made to safeguard money and valuables? Are these insured?
  14. Can you lock your bedroom door? Do you have lockable storage facilities in your room?
  15. Is the home near public transport and shops?
  16. Can relatives and friends get there easily to visit you?
  17. Are visitors welcome at all times? What facilities are provided for them?
  18. Is there a public telephone where you can speak in private to friends or family?
  19. Are there regular activities and outings?
  20. What facilities are included in the weekly charge, for example entertainment, library, hairdressing, chiropody? Are there extra charges for anything?
  21. If a resident needs medical attention, what is the procedure? Which doctors normally attend?
  22. Can you keep your own doctor if you wish?
  23. Are residents allowed to stay in bed when they wish? Can they have meals in bed?
  24. Can residents choose the time they get up or go to bed?
  25. How does the home demonstrate care of residents as individuals, for example diets, own furniture and pictures, TV and phone point in own room?
  26. Who owns the home? Who manages it?
  27. Is there a requirement to pay fees in an advance?
  28. What arrangements are there to ensure you can buy clothes, toiletries, cigarettes, alcohol, newspapers, gifts and stamps?
  29. Does the home have a smoking (or non-smoking) policy?
  30. Is the home sensitive to and able to meet your cultural and lifestyle choices? For example, faith, religious practices, and diet. Is there a place to worship within the home or a place of worship nearby?
  31. Does the home qualify for quality premium payments?
  32. Is the latest inspection report available for you to read?
  33. Would you like to live there?