Hallmark Carehomes
When is the right time to move into a care home?

19 March 2020

When is the right time to move into a care home?

Making the decision to encourage a loved one to move into a care home can be incredibly difficult. Not only is it likely to be an emotional process for everyone involved, but there is also a lot of uncertainty around whether the decision is “right”.

If you think that your loved one would benefit from moving into a care home, but need reassurance before taking the plunge, we’ve created the information below to help guide you.

Day to day life is a struggle

If your loved one is finding daily tasks difficult, or if they forget to do some of them, they may benefit from moving into a care home. However, if they have family or friends who may be able to help with some of these tasks, it may not be time for them to move into a care home just yet.

Typical tasks that people can begin to struggle with in later life might include:

  • Cooking
  • Cleaning
  • Washing
  • Dressing
  • Shopping
  • Grooming

If your loved one is finding any of the above tasks difficult, it may be worth seeing if you’re able to encourage friends and family to help them to perform some of these tasks. However, if adequate care cannot be provided using this method, or if the level of care needed increases, you may need to consider a care home.


Friends and family members cannot provide adequate care

Despite all best intentions, sometimes friends and family members can’t provide the level of care that allows your loved one to remain living at home. This is usually due to other commitments, such as their job or family, or can be because of the impact that providing care is having on their life.

If friends and family members need to take a break from caring for a loved one, this can usually be solved through short term stays in a care home. This type of care allows carers a little bit of time off and allows your loved one to receive the care that they need without having to commit to moving into a care home.

However, if family and friends cannot provide the level of care required over a long period of time, it may be better for your loved one to move into a care home where you can ensure that they are getting the care they need.


Their home is at risk of becoming unsuitable

Along with the difficulty of performing everyday tasks, looking after the maintenance of a house can quickly become unmanageable for older people. If their home produces any risk to the safety or care of your loved one, moving into a care home could be the safest option.

Common risks that can be present in a loved one’s home that may be cause for concern include (but are not limited to):

  • Door frames, loose carpets, high steps or rugs that could be a trip hazard
  • Old appliances that do not have safe shut-off settings
  • Bathroom fittings that present a slip hazard
  • Methods of heating that carry a carbon monoxide or fire risk
  • Lack of adequate security measures to protect safety

They are at risk of becoming socially isolated

Even with friends and family members visiting to provide care, your loved one may still become socially isolated and lonely. While it’s lovely to see people, it can be frustrating for people to feel like they’re stuck in one place or quickly becoming out of touch with everyday life.

Moving into a care home not only allows your loved one to receive the level of care they need, but also opens the option for making new friends and being able to have conversations about the things that matter to them. Many care homes have incredibly varied activities that residents can take part in, including many that they may previously have enjoyed but not been able to take part in more recently.


They want to move into a care home

Sometimes, a loved one will identify that they need to move into a care home themselves. This can make the entire process much easier for everyone involved, and results in your loved one having a much more comfortable life.

If your loved one has shown an interest in moving into a care home, the best course of action is to support them in their decision and arrange visits to a few different homes to assess where they would be happiest.


What if they don’t want to move into a care home?

If someone doesn’t want to move into a care home, and they have not received a care needs assessment that has recommended this action, you have to respect their wishes. However, many care homes offer day visits that could be a good way of showing your loved one that there is nothing to fear about making a permanent move at some point.



There are many factors that impact on the decision to move into a care home, but ultimately the decision should be based around what is best for your loved one. Even if they’re not ready to move into a care home full time, there can be huge benefits from short stays.

If you and your loved one would like to speak to someone about all of the options they have when moving into a care home, please feel free to get in touch with us using the contact details below and a friendly member of our team will be happy to make recommendations and arrange visits to any of our care homes.