When is it a good time to investigate nursing home choices?

Nurse and resident in gardens of nursing home looking through book.

It’s a question we hear a great deal, but it isn’t usually asked early enough…

Both post and pre Covid, a common scenario is for a loved one’s health needs to increase to a point where they are no longer able to be met by domiciliary carers (carers who visit at home) and following a crisis fall or rapid deterioration in health (perhaps due to an infection) this leads to a hospital admittance. Not able to return home, the family are then forced into a mad scramble to call, view and select a room in a local care home – all in a matter of days. Unfortunately, the decision is then often taken out of their hands as families are left with a handful of available rooms, rather than hand-picking a room of their choice, in a home of their choice, in a location of their choice which perfectly suits their loved one’s needs.

What signals should be looked out for as a sign that it may be the right time to look into homes? 

Although the move into a care home can seem daunting, it is best done when the resident is still somewhat able bodied, with a measure of independence and a desire to remain socially interactive. It’s like anything, if you can make friends in a new environment, the longer-term prospect of enjoyment is rapidly increased. If you can get to know your carers whilst you are still fairly able bodied, it makes for a much more pleasant experience if you eventually have to rely more on their personal care. The more able bodied your loved one is when they come into the care home, the more likely they are to feel able to make friends, which are of great benefit to them as time goes on.
Contrary to common belief, people do not degenerate rapidly upon entering a care home, but in fact the opposite often occurs. Not only is anxiety dramatically reduced on the part of the resident, but with the right medication, the right personal care, a consistency of staff looking after them and wholesome meals provided in a timely manner, the resident often rapidly picks up in health and vitality shortly after arrival. We can testify to this on numerous occasions, often much to the surprise of family and friends! 
In a nursing home, you have thoroughly trained carers, often with up to 20 years experience, Registered Nurses, a weekly GP visit and regular visits from community health teams – all whose primary aim is to improve the care and health of your loved one. Tweaking medication, providing physiotherapy, encouraging involvement in lounge exercise classes or simply enjoying the arts – craft, musicians, quizzes, creative talks and resident parties, all contribute to stimulate and inspire your loved one in their day-to-day life and contribute to their health and well-being. It is impossible to provide this level of holistic, reflective and regularly reviewed care in one’s personal home.
I would encourage anyone who has a loved one currently receiving care in the home to ask whether a nursing home would be a better option for them. The social benefits alone have immeasurable impact upon health and well-being. Combine those with the attention of an army of health professionals on 24 hour stand-by in a tailor-made environment and those trained and skilled in drawing the elderly into social interactions and you have a unique environment.
Of course, there is the question of cost, but remember there is a huge variation in price of rooms available, based on the size and aspect of the room, and the extent of ensuite facilities. There are also funding avenues to be explored. However, what is known is that even the most expensive room in a nursing home such as Country Lodge is considerably less than the provision of 24 hour care at home.

What is involved in the process of viewing and picking a nursing home?

Starting with some good search sites such as autumna.co.uk or carehome.co.uk is a good starting point. Move on to book tours, have telephone conversations with the Registered Managers and finally view a selection of available rooms. When you think you’ve found the right room in the right home, the Registered Manager or a Registered Nurse will do a health assessment either over the phone or in person.

What should you look out for when considering a nursing home? Here are some helpful questions to ask:


  1. Are the buildings and grounds well maintained?
  2. Is there an accessible garden with a pleasant view?
  3. Does the home and garden feel inviting?
  4. Are the staff welcoming and interested?
  5. Is the home clean and does it smell fresh?
  6. Are the rooms a comfortable temperature?
  7. Is there good wheelchair access into rooms?
  8. Is there sufficient parking?


  1. Are there a sufficient number of staff on duty and is the manager available for chatting through the available rooms and your loved ones needs?
  2. Do staff have experience of caring for particular health conditions?
  3. Are residents and their families involved in decisions about their care?
  4. Do the bathroom facilities meet your needs?
  5. Are the bedrooms and bathrooms sufficiently adapted to residents’ needs?
  6. Is the home linked to a specific GP practice?
  7. Do health staff such as physiotherapists and chiropodists visit regularly?
  8. Can residents choose their routine?
  9. Can residents bring their own furniture and belongings?


  1. Can residents choose whether to eat together or in their own rooms?
  2. Is food prepared on the premises?
  3. Are snacks available and can the home meet specific dietary needs? 


  1. Are residents encouraged to stay active and engaged?
  2. Is there an activities coordinator?
  3. Are there regular musicians and performers?


  1. Are there any restrictions to visiting?
  2. Can visitors join for meals?

At Country Lodge nursing home in Worthing, we take a lot of pride in ensuring that each and every resident, as well as all our staff, feel like they are truly part of the family. Read what makes us different.

With a 9.9/10 score on Carehome.co.uk and almost 30 5-star reviews, we are an obvious choice for those looking for a Worthing nursing home.

The next step is to come and view Country Lodge or to enquire about availability of our rooms. Please call or email our Manager, Ms Debbie Spokes on 01903 830600 or email manager@countrylodge.co.uk.

Brand new & luxurious

Latest availability

We’re delighted to announce we have a very limited number of standard rooms & luxury rooms available. 

For more information, please call our team on 01903 830600 or fill in your details below.