How do I choose a residential or nursing home?

Going into a care home is a big decision and for that reason, all placements are initially made on a temporary basis. 

This gives you the opportunity to see how you settle in a care home before you make a definite decision about your future. It also means that if you do not like your first choice care home, you are free to transfer to a different home.

It is important that you choose a care home that will meet your present and future needs, physically, emotionally and socially, so that living there feels comfortable. 

A list of care homes in Torfaen can be found here.

Alternatively, if you are looking for a suitable adult care home, the CareHomes.Wales website lets you search for options that meet your needs. The website provides information about every adult care home in Wales.  

Asking yourself the following questions will help you to choose a home that meets your individual needs:


  • Is it located in familiar surroundings near my local community?
  • Will my relatives and friends be able to visit easily?
  • Will I have to change my GP?
  • Is the home near public transport, shops or leisure facilities?

The room

  • If I am offered a shared room, will I be able to meet the person to see if we get on before I make my decision?
  • Will I have my own bathroom? If not, how many people will be sharing bathroom facilities with me?
  • May I personalise my room, for example, choose my own décor, bring my own bedding, curtains, small items of furniture, ornaments, etc?
  • How often will my bedding be changed?
  • May I bring my own television and telephone with me to use in my room?
  • May I have my own telephone and telephone number?
  • Am I free to use my room throughout the day and come and go from it as I wish?
  • May I choose what time I get up and go to bed?
  • How long will my room be kept available for me if I go on holiday or have to go into hospital?


  • Is there easy access throughout the home, both inside and out?
  • If the accommodation is on several floors, is there a lift?
  • Are there outdoor smoking and non-smoking areas?
  • Is there more than one lounge, for example a ‘quiet’ area and a television room?
  • Am I allowed to keep a pet?
  • Is there a secure place to keep my valuables? Are personal possessions covered by insurance?


  • Is the food interesting, varied and of good quality?
  • Is there a choice and will my particular likes and dislikes be taken into account?
  • Are meal times flexible?
  • Can I eat meals in my own room if I want to?

Religion / Culture

  • Does the home cater for my religious needs?
  • Does the home cater for my language and cultural needs e.g. are there Welsh speaking staff?

Leisure time

  • What types of activities are provided for residents?
  • Are visits and outings arranged?
  • Will I be able to pursue my current interests as well as join in new ones?
  • If there is a garden at the home, could I help with its upkeep?


  • Are visiting times flexible?
  • If I share a room, will I be able to have a private conversation somewhere else?
  • Are there facilities to make my guests a drink or snack?
  • Are there facilities for visitors to stay overnight if necessary?


  • How do staff appear to treat residents? Are they welcoming and caring?What is the ratio of members of staff to the number of residents?Are they experienced and/or qualified?Do staff respect residents’ privacy?If my health deteriorates, will staff be able to provide the necessary nursing care?


  • What is the atmosphere like in the home?
  • What are your first impressions?
  • How does it feel to you? Do you think you would fit in and be happy there?

It is also important to ask if the home makes an additional charge for extra services. This might include hairdressing, newspapers, telephone calls, dry cleaning, chiropody, outings and other leisure activities.

Choosing a care home must be your own choice and so it is important that you ask as many questions as you need to before making your decision. Some homes may be able to offer a short trial stay to help you decide. 

If you have any doubts, do not commit yourself immediately. Allow yourself plenty of time to carefully consider all the options before you make this important decision. 

Last Modified: 11/07/2023
For more information contact:

Social Services

Tel: 01495 762200


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