With the aging population In the UK, the need for more beds in care homes is growing rapidly. It is estimated that 75,000 additional beds for the elderly will be needed by 2030. New homes will need to be built, expanded or converted to meet this burgeoning demand.
It is likely that many homes will be built to facilitate larger numbers of elderly residents to cater to this need. This may be particularly true for the top 10 for profit providers, which make up around ¼ of the care home market.
But choosing a care home, like choosing a house, is not something to rush into. From large, purpose built care homes to small care homes that have been converted there are many variables to consider.
Here are some reasons you may want to consider a smaller home, over a larger one, even if they do have much larger capacity.
More familiar and comforting
Moving home can be unsettling for anyone, but particularly vulnerable older people. Large unfamiliar spaces can seem overwhelming and uncomfortable since they’re so far removed from ordinary home living.
Smaller care homes can offer a more homely feel, and a greater sense of ease and familiarity. Very often these homes are not purpose built, but constructed from properties that were once an ordinary family home.
More personal experience
In a smaller care home, elderly residents live and socialise with a small group of individuals; perhaps in the region of 5-15. Some people may find this less intimidating and more personal when it comes to building relationships with other residents; this may also increase one’s sense of community.
The care may too feel more personal. If there are less residents, and a smaller space, staff will engage much more intimately with their residents and this may lead to a better understanding of their needs and concerns.
May experience better care
A 2017 study by the CQC (Care Quality Commission) found that small care homes, which are designed for fewer people on average serve better care than larger ones.
The study found that 89% of small homes (1-10 beds) were rated good or outstanding. Only 65% of large homes (50+ beds) were rated the same.
The report comprised data from 33,000 inspections in the UK, collected over a 3 year period ending in 2017.