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Commonly asked questions about care homes

There were various care home providers exhibiting at The Alzheimer’s Show, with their experts on hand to answer questions and offer advice on choosing the right care facility

Sunrise Senior Living ( answered many different questions about moving a loved one into a care facility. Vicki Pickering, Area Manager of Sales, says: ‘The first step to choosing care for a loved one is always a difficult one. The families we met with at the show were taking these first steps and trying to understand what options were available to them. We were keen to help the families understand some of the benefits they would see if they made a decision to choose a care home such as Sunrise and how their loved one’s mind, body and spirit may be greatly enhanced.’

Caroline Baker, Director of Dementia Care at Barchester Healthcare Homes (, who also exhibited at the show, says questions about when the time is right to move a loved one into a care facility came up frequently. ‘People were asking: “When will I know when mum needs to move into a care home?” “Should I make an appointment to visit a care home?” “What should I look for and ask when viewing a care home?”

‘There were a huge variety of individuals visiting the show, which made it all the more interesting and rewarding,’ adds Caroline. ‘We spoke to several individuals living with dementia who were considering moving into a care home. We invited them to visit a Barchester care home, have a look around, stay for lunch and join in the activities.’


Busy event

‘The show was a busy event with a great mix of both professionals and families,’ says Vicki Pickering from Sunrise Senior Living. ‘There were interesting speakers, workshops and some really innovative products that indicates the great move forward in acknowledging dementia. It demonstrates that, as a country, we are all working to educate ourselves in this life-changing disease and what care and services are available to support families.’
The Sunrise Senior Living team found that many people were striving to provide the best possible care and support for loved ones living with dementia. ‘The overwhelming message we were getting is that families are trying to do what is best for their loved ones, and for them a big concern is when is the right time (to move them into a care home). Carers and family members will push themselves mentally and physically to support their loved ones, sometimes at the detriment of their own health. Care homes have moved forwards tremendously over the years and the aged old image of institutionalised care that a lot of people have in their minds couldn’t be further from reality.’


Dementia diagnosis

Sunrise Senior Living also spoke to those living with a diagnosis of dementia and recommended they have input into their own future. ‘It’s important for the family member who has the diagnosis of dementia to be an integral part of the decision of moving into care,’ adds Vicki. ‘For many families, the research into which home will be right for them is never too soon to start. We encourage families to look around our communities and get involved in some of the activities, so when the time is right, friends have already been made and the home is familiar.’

Care home provider Abbeyfield ( also exhibited at the show. Michelle Cox, Operations Manager of Abbeyfield Winnersh, says it’s very difficult for carers when it comes to encouraging a person with dementia to consider residential care. ‘If they have been either unable to have that open and honest conversation or the relative is just unwilling to listen, then sometimes a third party is useful, especially if it is someone the relative trusts,’ says Michelle. ‘It is so incredibly hard for an individual to give their home up, and they see it as giving their independence away. Pride and dignity all come into the thought processes, which is why it can be easier for a third party to support the process. I would suggest carers take a selection of brochures home and go through them with the relative and try to help them make the decision. Bring them into the chosen home to have coffee one morning and get their hair done at the same time; anything that begins to take the fear away from moving.’

More information

For more information on coping with the process of moving a loved one into a care home, and advice on choosing the right care home, CLICK HERE  to download our free digital guide, ‘Choosing A Good Care Home’  or for more information on care at home, CLICK HERE.

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