Choosing the right care home for a loved one

Finding the right care home for a loved one can be a stressful and challenging experience, and often one that people only do once or twice in their lifetime. The location of a care home is therefore critical for a number of reasons. Here we take you through some useful points to consider when choosing a care home for a loved one.

Is it close to friends and family?

This is often the biggest mistake people make when choosing a care home. It’s often a decision made in a panic and they select a home that is close to where their loved one currently lives. What you should do is find a care home as close to their friends and family as possible. This means if the family members live just around the corner, then the opportunity for regular, daily visits can take place instead of ones planned a week or two in advance.

If a family lives local to our care home in Speldhurst, on the outskirts of Tunbridge Wells, but their mum or dad resides in a home in the Midlands, for example, they would be much better off coming to our care home than one near where their mum lives as they would be able to visit more frequently.

What are the surroundings like?

Not everyone is the outdoorsy type and some would be happy in a care home where they stay inside for the majority of the day. This is hard for us at Birchwood to be unbiased as we’re extremely proud of our 9-acre gardens located around our beautiful manor house. Many residents love spending time outside when they can, and often children and grandchildren enjoy seeing them and playing in the grounds too.

What’s nearby?

Some who are looking for a care home know their relative are still active and have the ability to pop into town should they need to, and there are homes in towns where this is possible whereas others either aren’t physically able to do this or don’t want to.

Although we don’t have a town on our doorstep, we do our best to keep our residents integrated within the local community and get out and about as much we can! As the restrictions ease this year and vaccinations are completed and boosters are planned for the autumn, we’re looking forward to planning some excursions again for our residents.

Location. location. location.

Again, completely dependent on the individual, but what do they like? Have they always lived in big cities? Do they like the hustle and bustle of a town nearby? Or do they love living in the countryside or perhaps by the beach?

What is the building like?

The type of building can be an important consideration when choosing a care home. We’re proud of our historic manor house with beautiful grounds here at Birchwood House, but we’re not huge and we’re not purpose-built, which is something we believe offers a traditional and unique experience. What this does mean is that we’re not the right for everyone and some may prefer a large, purpose-built care home. You can find more information about the comparison between a purpose-built care home and a home-from-home here.

We hope these points are useful, and if you’re not sure about where would be the best place for your loved one’s care, please complete our online enquiry form, call us on 01892 863559 or email us at

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