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January 2023

How to Choose a Care Home for Dementia

Good care homes help older adults to maintain their dignity and independence for as long as possible. The right residence will provide your loved one with excellent care and support tailored to their needs. But how do you choose a care home for someone living with dementia?

At KYN, we understand that each individual's experience of dementia is unique. Whatever stage of the journey they’ve reached, we aim to make the transition to care easy and stress-free for every resident. 

In this guide, we'll share our step-by-step guide to choosing a care home for dementia. We’ll cover everything from having a needs assessment to visiting the residence in person.  

Step 1: Arrange a Needs Assessment

Dementia can manifest in many ways, from Alzheimer's disease to vascular dementia. No two individuals will experience the same symptoms or have the same care requirements. 

The first step in your dementia care home search is to arrange a needs assessment through your local authority. You can find your local council's contact details on the GOV.UK website here. 

Your loved one's needs assessment will help determine what kind of day-to-day support they require. It will also advise whether they would benefit from specialist nursing care. Understanding these needs will help you decide on what kind of residential homes to look into. 

Step 2: Establish Your Care Budget

In the UK, care home fees for dementia care can vary significantly. This may depend upon factors such as the home’s location and ratio of carers to residents. You'll need to have a maximum monthly figure in mind while exploring your options. So, the next step in finding a care home for a person living with dementia is to establish a care budget. To do this, ask yourself:

  • What is the value of your loved one's savings and assets? (If they fall under a certain threshold, they may be eligible for help with care home costs)
  • Do they qualify for NHS-funded nursing care that could cover the nursing portion of the fees?

You should also consider what would happen if the care home were to raise their fees in the future. Would you (or another family member) be willing and able to provide top-up payments if necessary?

Step 3: Know What You're Looking for in a Care Home

It's essential to choose a care home offering dementia care that is within budget and can meet your loved one's changing health needs. However, it's also important to consider their preferences and lifestyle. For example:

  • Should the care home be in a particular location (e.g. within a certain distance of friends and family)?
  • Would they prefer a large, grand care home with many residents or a more intimate setting?
  • Are there any specific activities or therapies (e.g. music therapy) that your ideal dementia care home should offer?
  • What kinds of amenities should there be (e.g. gardens, social spaces, on-site spa)?
  • Can the residence cater to their dietary requirements and preferences?

Help your loved one make a list of the most important things they'd like the home to offer. Keep these in mind when conducting your search. 

Step 4: Search for Dementia Care Homes in Your Area

Next, it’s time to start looking for suitable care homes in your area. You can then create a shortlist based on your loved one’s needs, wishes and budget.

Searching online for ‘care homes for dementia near me’ should bring up some results. You can also use the Care Quality Commission (CQC) website, which features a handy tool for finding and filtering care services. 

First, select ‘care homes’ from the drop-down menu and enter a location and search radius. Click the search button and you’ll be shown a list of care homes in your area. Then, select ‘dementia/alzheimer’s’ from the options to refine your results. This will filter the list by residences that specialise in dementia care. 

Step 5: Check CQC Ratings

Every care home in England is regulated by the CQC and given a rating from ‘inadequate’ to ‘outstanding’. All care homes must legally display their most recent rating on their website, as well as on the premises. Checking these ratings can help give you an idea of the quality of care on offer. 

On the CQC website, you can also read every residence’s most recent care home inspection report in full. If there is no report available for a newly-registered care home, it may not have been assessed yet. You can always check back at a later date. 

Step 6: Look Through Brochures Together

Once you’ve created a shortlist of potential care homes that offer dementia care, the next step is to request brochures. These will provide information about the rooms, amenities, activities and care on offer. Most brochures also contain plenty of pictures. You may be able to download a digital copy through the care home’s website. Most care homes will also be happy to send you a free paper copy if you provide your address.

Take some time to sit down with your loved one and look through the brochures together. Encourage them to share their thoughts and first impressions with you. If you think of any questions to ask the care home, note them down for later.

Step 7: Visit Dementia Care Homes in Person

The last step in choosing a care home for dementia is to arrange a visit in person. You can do this by contacting the care home via telephone or email. They should be friendly and accommodating, and should work with you to arrange a suitable date and time.

During your visit, you can look around the care home and explore the the living spaces to see how they can support people living with dementia. You’ll also meet the care team and can ask them any questions you may have.  You may even be able to sample some food or take part in activities. 

The carers should be able to provide you with more information to take away and read. You should be welcome to visit the home again before deciding whether it’s right for your loved one.

Discover Outstanding Dementia Care with KYN 

KYN provides outstanding, personalised dementia care in beautiful residences across London and the South East. We aim to honour and care for each of our residents living with dementia as unique individuals.

KYN residents enjoy calm, uplifting environments designed for their specific needs. We offer a wide programme of enriching activities and the latest evidence-based therapies, from art and music to cognitive stimulation. Our dedicated Dementia Lead is there to offer tailored advice and support throughout your loved one’s journey.

To learn more about KYN luxury care homes, enquire today. Request a brochure through our contact form, call us on +44 (0) 20 4530 7700 or email