Before I start I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself. I am a registered nurse by profession and I have worked in a variety of different settings, but predominately in care homes for the elderly. I have been an agency nurse and have also worked for the NHS.
Despite my experience as a nurse in a number of different care homes I do not consider myself in any way an expert. The idea of compiling a guide came to me a while ago after I began to notice the disparities between my experience in working at certain homes, and the description they give on their websites.
Another reason for writing this is that other guides I have read — although they do ask certain questions regarding the suitability of a home — exclude many of the queries that I would make in a similar position. An example of this is that people are often told to check whether a home has en suite bathrooms and a telephone in every room. Homes that provide all of these facilities and more, do not necessarily provide what I would describe as an adequate level of care. The physical infrastructure should not be regarded as being indicative of a good home.
I would like to say that I wholeheartedly support both carers and nurses (after all I was and am both), who do a very difficult job in often less than ideal circumstances. I hope that the readers of this guide do not see it as an attack on these professions. If anything the guide should serve to highlight how difficult the work can be.