What actually happens in your chosen care home?  And importantly, how do you know what happens?

The good homes have a written bulletin on a weekly basis of what is going on.  You should be able to plan your time and take your pick of what is going on.  Good homes have entertainers coming in, crafters and outings.  The home should have a buzz of activity in designated area.  Making greetings cards, playing board games or cards and arranging flowers are things to look out for.

There should also be the chance of getting your hair done and your nails if you fancy.  Perhaps a piano to play and a garden to tend.  Often homes have their own pets or have volunteers who bring in therapy dogs.  All of these things help you to remain engaged and stimulated.

One of the most important things to look for is an exercise programme (we would say that!).

Ideally your home should offer graded exercise classes and one to one sessions.  The classes are best when they really help you to remain mobile (or even increase your mobility) and independent.  Some homes offer seated exercise classes which have value but you are likely to get much more fun and enjoyment (and benefit) from standing up, moving and lifting those weights!

Avoid any home that seats all the residents around the wall of a large lounge, with the TV on constantly.   Choose somewhere that aims to help you to keep going, not somewhere that treats you as if you are ‘past it’!