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The following guidelines are issued with the compliments of the management of Saumarez Park Manor Residential Care Home and Summerland House Nursing Home.


It is always useful to listen to advice from family, friends and professional advisors but in the end it is your decision. Your final choice will depend largely upon three factors:

  • Your current state of health.
  • Financial considerations.
  • Your personal preferences.

There are three basic forms of care available:


Sheltered housing schemes are not controlled or inspected and cater exclusively for people who are reasonably active and capable of coping with all the chores of day to day living. A warden should be available to give help when needed and there are sometimes communal living and catering facilities. One disadvantage is that should ones condition deteriorate there may be a need to move with all the trauma this entails.


These Homes are regulated and registered by the Health & Social Care and provide the type of care which could reasonably be provided by a caring relative.  This does not include nursing care.   Residents should be afforded considerable independence, freedom of choice and the opportunity to live full and active lives. It is important  to enquire into the background and philosophy of the management. In the past too many Homes were operated by unqualified and unsuitable persons.  


Nursing Homes are also registered and regulated by the Health & Social Care. As their name suggests they are able to care for persons suffering from sickness, injury and infirmity requiring the services of qualified nursing staff over a 24 hour period. They cater for the more dependent resident and it necessarily follows that social activities and the opportunity to live an independent life are more limited.

Whatever decision you make you should always remember you are concerned not only with the present but also the future and none of us like to make unnecessary moves. Continuity of care is an important consideration.

Always spend as much time as possible looking over several establishments. Remember that you need make no binding commitments and you may well find the experience interesting and encouraging.

During your life you have already proved your resilience and ability to adapt by coping with many changes. Entering residential care should be a positive step forward to greater security, better health and a new lifestyle which will create its own opportunities for making new friends, enjoying leisure and achieving further self fulfilment.


The following checklist, while far from comprehensive will help to guide you to make an informed choice.

  • If possible talk with existing residents and note how the staff relate to them and to you as a visitor. Remember that for most of us people are more important than places and it is these people – both residents and staff  with whom you may shortly be sharing a part of your life    
  • Check where and when meals are served – do you really want the last meal of the day to be served at 5.30pm? – Would you like to have breakfast in bed? – Is it really a good idea to have all your meals alone in your room?
  • Are visitors welcome and is guest accommodation available?
  • What is the fee structure and are there any ‘extras’? – Request a copy of the Resident’s contract and a brochure.
  • What happens about personal laundry? What happens about chiropody, hairdressing, physiotherapy?
  • What happens if your condition deteriorates?   Is medical and nursing back-up available?   Can you retain your own Doctor?                                                                                            
  • Are you encouraged to furnish your own room?
  • Will you be expected to share a bathroom or even a bedroom?
  • Are there facilities for making yourself a snack or a cup of tea?
  • Are telephones and televisions provided?
  • Check on provision of aids, is there an assisted bath? Are there grab rails in toilets and baths?  Is there an emergency call system?  Are there staff available at all times for emergencies? Are there handrails and wheelchair ramps? Are electrical plug sockets conveniently placed?  Is there a communal laundry?
  • Are there adequate public areas?
  • Is absolute privacy available should you need it?
  • Do you have your own front door key?   Do staff enter without first knocking?
  • Can I pursue existing hobbies or develop new ones?  What social activities are there?

The above list, whilst no means exhaustive will help you to form a choice. Remember you do have a mind as well as a body and one of your most important considerations should be how best you can enjoy the extra leisure time which moving into a Home will bring.

Please enjoy the experience



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