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How to choose a Care Home

8th August

Are you wondering ‘How to choose a Care Home? It’s not an easy decision to make, another chapter in your life!

We would like to help you make the right move to a residential care home. Feel free to call and discuss all your concerns; we will listen, help you feel reassured and hopefully help you source the right home.

Here is a checklist that may help you decide how to choose a care home :

Check that the home can provide the type of care that is required. Residential or Nursing? When you source a home explain the reason for care and I am sure you will be pointed in the right direction. Swarthmore provides Residential care, Respite and End of Life care only.

Discuss all aspects of care such as assistance with showering and dressing, keeping a nutritional diet and even companionship. Loneliness is one of the biggest contenders for our mental wellbeing. When day to day chores become too much, it’s time to talk to someone and look at all the options available to you. Make a list so you are prepared when you make that call or visit in person.

It makes sense to enquire if rooms are available; you may want to go on a waiting list if it isn’t urgent. You can still organise a viewing, to give you an idea for the future.

Make sure that residents can be assisted almost instantly when they’re in need. At Swarthmore Residential care home, residents are given a pendant, which they can activate when they require assistance. The home is equipped with a nurse call system so staff can see who is seeking assistance and attend to their needs. Reassurance is key for everyone; the main benefit of care in a home is knowing that care is available 24/7.

Are the buildings and grounds well maintained?

Is there an accessible garden or outdoor area to enjoy the outdoors?

Does the home feel inviting? Is the home clean, warm and fresh smelling?

Research reviews about the home – you can view our reviews on our website or  on

Are there nearby facilities such as shops, places of worship, bus routes or easy access to main roads for people to visit?

Are the staff welcoming and show interest in other residents?

All residents at Swarthmore have a key worker, they will become the initial point of contact for family and friends. All our staff undergo an induction programme which consists of a 4-day theory and a minimum of 5 days practical supervision. Swarthmore encourages and assists staff to obtain formal qualifications. Everyone is given the opportunity to gain a QCF qualification in Health & Social care at levels 2 and 3.

Activities at Swarthmore Care Home, Buckinghamshire

Here at Swarthmore our Activities Coordinator provides activities twice a day; morning and afternoon. Our monthly schedule will give you an example of the type of activities we carry out - or look on our website under the heading Our Care, Your Time. We have days out and entertainment that comes into the home. For anyone who cannot leave their room, Ann Marie will spend time with residents – maybe fulfilling a lifetime hobby. Time to make new friends; a friendly chat to put the world to rights!

We have regular exercise classes during activities. We have a visiting Pet Therapy dog called ‘Thula’. She visits on a weekly basis and expects treats!

Visiting Swarthmore Care home, Buckinghamshire

Visiting times - you are welcome to visit residents in their rooms, our gardens, or our visitor pod. We ask that you wash your hands, wear a mask and take a lateral flow test to ensure everyone is kept safe at all times. You do not need to notify us when you are visiting, just call the bell on arrival.

We will provide a copy of our contract which includes all our policies, fees and brochure. If you are looking for respite we accept a minimum stay of 2 weeks.

The rooms in our residential care home

Swarthmore has three types of rooms. A standard room that has a vanity sink and use of communal bathrooms/toilets. A Classic room may have a partial or full ensuite. Premium rooms have a full ensuite with views or access to our glorious garden. We have a lounge, quiet room with library, activities area and dining room. Stunning gardens to enjoy through the seasons.

All rooms are furnished, we recommend you bring a few belongings to make your room feel homely; creature comforts. When you are comfortable and happy with your stay as a permanent resident, you are welcome to bring items of furniture from your home that you would like in your room. We will assist with hanging your pictures on walls. If you wish to organise a telephone line or Sky TV to your room, please inform us. We provide most furniture items in your room; your items make it your personal space.

Care Needs

How do we assess new residents needs or situation when they move into the home?

An initial assessment will take place once you are settled in your room.  We will also carry out vital observations which consists of blood pressure check, temperature, pulse, weight, oxygen levels where necessary. Building a dialogue about you helps us understand your routine, likes and dislikes, family members – a bit of a life story. This will help you settle in as we all staff get to know you. There may be occasions when other medical professions need to make assessments.

Additional services such as chiropodist, hairdresser is available at an extra cost.

We encourage residents to eat with other residents in our dining room for their main meal of the day. We also respect that some residents may want to eat alone in their rooms. We can provide a copy of our menu if you are interested. All dietary requirements are catered for.

Morning coffee/tea is served, along with an afternoon tea. You may also request snacks/drinks during the evening. We have a team on site who prepare and cook fresh food daily.

Thank you for reading our blog 'How to choose a care home'.  To arrange a viewing or discussion please call 01753 885663, Option 1- speak with Sally.  Alternatively you can visit our website.

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