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Care home checklist

You may be considering several care homes before choosing the one that is right for you or your loved one. That’s why Sanctuary Care’s Enquiry Support Team have put together an impartial checklist to help you think about the care homes you are interested in, the important things to consider and questions you may like to ask.

If you have any other questions or need further support, contact our friendly Enquiry Support Team on 0800 917 0478.

Location and building

  1. Is it easy to get to the care home on public transport?
  2. If you visit by car, is it easy to find somewhere to park?
  3. Were you made to feel welcome in person or virtually?
  4. Are entrances and rooms in the home easily accessible?

Day-to-day life

  1. Is the care home clean and well looked after?
  2. Do the staff seem engaged and attentive?
  3. Do the residents appear happy? You can review this on carehome.co.uk
  4. Do health care professionals such as doctors, opticians, chiropodists and physiotherapists visit the care home?
  5. Are complementary therapies available?
  6. Does the care home have suitable equipment for people with mobility issues?


  1. Do the staff interact well with residents?
  2. Do staff respect the privacy and dignity of the residents in their care?
  3. Is there a key worker for each resident?
  4. Do staff get to know residents personally?
  5. Is the care home manager approachable?

Communal areas

  1. Do staff encourage residents to use the communal areas?
  2. Is there easy access to all communal areas?
  3. Is there an accessible and safe garden?
  4. Do the lounges or other sitting rooms have pleasant views?
  5. Are there lifts in the home?


  1. Can residents choose where they eat, e.g. in a dining room or in their room?
  2. Do residents have a choice of menu for every meal?
  3. Can special diets be catered for?
  4. Does the chef talk with the residents to discuss meal choices?
  5. Do residents receive assistance with eating if required?
  6. Can residents make drinks for themselves and have access to snacks at any time?


  1. What is the overall impression of the bedrooms?
  2. Do the bedrooms have en-suite facilities?
  3. Can residents bring their own furniture?
  4. Is there an emergency pull-cord available?


  1. Do staff encourage residents to continue with hobbies and interests?
  2. Are there dedicated activities staff who delivery person-centred activities programme?
  3. Are special events, such as birthdays and religious holidays celebrated?
  4. Do the staff give residents the opportunity to help with activities within the care home, e.g. gardening or cooking?
  5. Do the staff give residents regular exercise opportunities?
  6. Do staff consult with residents on the types of activities planned?


  1. Do staff have sufficient levels of PPE?
  2. Do staff and residents take part in regular Covid-19 testing cycles?
  3. Does the home allow ‘Covid-secure’ visits with loved ones? Please note, localised restrictions may have an impact on care providers’ visiting guidance
  4. What does the home do to keep residents connected during this time? Newsletters, FaceTime, Skype?
  5. Are the home confident in their infection control procedures?
  6. Does the home manage their residents in ‘bubbles’?
  7. Are visitors’ details stored for track and trace purposes?

We are welcoming new residents safely

Find out more on our response to Covid-19, ensuring safe care, admissions and care home visits: