Choosing a

Care Home

What to do

We say right home …
… as there’s always a chance that your perfect care home won’t be Briarlea.

The atmosphere we’ve created here at Briarlea is a lot like a welcoming, country house hotel – with you as our long-term patrons. There’s an old-world elegance about the place.

Consequently, we don’t have many of the glitzy mod-cons touted by our big chain competitors.

Instead, what we can promise to incoming residents is a warm, welcoming environment. A home from home. Where staff treat residents like fellow human beings. Where there’s always a reason to laugh and where your care is tailored to suit your personal needs and dignity.


If we sound like your cup of tea, then wonderful! Why not give our care home manager Jo a call to arrange a visit. We always love to show off the home. Jo can be reached on 01386 293 200.

And if you think that you’ll be better placed elsewhere, that’s fine too.

But whatever type of home you’re after, there are often key indicators that separate good homes from the great ones…

Here’s our inside tips on what questions to ask when approaching a potential care home…

How long has the manager been there? You ideally want to look for a home which has stable leadership. It will have a big impact on the home’s atmosphere.

What’s staff turnover like? Great homes have longstanding staff that know residents inside out. Low staff turnover signals happy carers too.​

Do you use any agency staff? You should be able to recognise the staff that care for you on a daily basis. If a home is dependent on rolling agency staff, there isn’t much opportunity for residents and carers to bond.

How are the meals made? It amazes us that some care homes still use ready meals. If you’re planning to invest in care (with fees that run anywhere from £600-£2000 a week), make sure your care home offers fresh meals. Great care homes use locally sourced produce and make their meals from scratch.

What training do you offer the workforce? When a care home trains its staff, there is more empathy, more ideas and all-round better care. Smart carers make better carers.

And what activities do residents enjoy? Homes that offer a good variety of activities and entertainment will ensure you keep stimulated once you’ve settled in. It’s also important that you opt for the type of care that will support your needs properly. This may not be a residential home.

At Briarlea, we will only encourage you to come if we feel we can care for you safely. Of course, we would love to welcome everyone who expresses an interest in us. But it wouldn’t feel right to us if we weren’t acting in your best interest.

So, before you go any further, why not read our guide below on what residential care entails? It will give you a better idea about the type of care we provide here at Briarlea.

And if, after reading, you feel like you’d benefit from something else, we’ve also included information on nursing and palliative care. We’ve gone on to suggest some great places in the area that provide these services. And of course, if you’re still unsure, don’t hesitate to drop us an email. Or call us on 01386 293 200.  We’d be happy to help.


What is Residential Care?

Residential care is given to people in a care home environment – like here at Briarlea.

Typically, residential care is set up like a family home, with individuals enjoying their own private bedrooms with en-suite facilities, a selection of day rooms, large gardens to enjoy the outdoors and plenty of activities to get involved in, if desired.

Residential care homes come in all shapes and sizes. At 27 rooms, Briarlea offers a homely, intimate environment, as opposed to much larger homes where that intimacy may not be found.

Individuals who decide to move into residential care often do so for the support these homes offer.

A residential home will take care of all the laundry, cooking, and cleaning for its residents – as well as any help a person might need when getting dressed, bathing, walking and using the rest room.

Alongside these benefits, residential care homes help to fight loneliness. They offer great environments for older people to build friendships (both with each other and with the staff that care for them).

What is the difference between Respite and Day Care?

It’s for these reasons that some individuals decide to stay in residential care for a short period of time – known as respite care.

Respite Care offers people a taste of what life is like in a residential home – but without the commitment of moving in full time.

If you’re recovering from a surgery – or perhaps you just fancy a change of scenery – then respite care could be a great option for you.

At Briarlea, we have 2 permanent respite bedrooms. They’re already made up and ready for you to enjoy a short stay! Contact our care home manager, Jo, for more information.

What’s more, we are also open for day care.

Day Care is when somebody comes into a residential home for a set number of hours within the day. Perhaps this is just for the morning; or between 9 & 5.

If you’re cared for by your family, day care can offer peace of mind that you’ll be looked after while they’re at work. Whereas for others, the social benefits that come with day care really appeal.

When you’re home alone, it’s easy to get into a rut. To begin to feel like you’re unable to cope, like you can’t be bothered. Worryingly, this is when depression can set in.

Day care counters this. It allows you to meet likeminded people and to have a bit of fun. It’s completely flexible. You choose when to come in, when to leave and what meals you want to join.

Whether for day, respite or long-term care, we’d love to welcome you. If you’d like to learn more, call our care home manager Jo on 01386 293 200.

Residential Care vs. Nursing Care: What’s the difference?

Residential carers are trained to a high level. Our own staff receive mandatory training in Infection Control, Safe Administering of Drugs and Other Medication, First Aid, Safe Moving of Residents, Care for those with Dementia or Challenging Behaviours, and Care of Wounds and Sores. This is alongside the many other courses that we encourage for ongoing career development.

Many residents find having care teams like this onsite a great reassurance in case they become ill or suffer a fall. And if you do start to struggle with your health, having trained professionals onsite often allows for any causes of concern to be addressed quickly.

However, for some people, their medical needs will be at a level which are beyond the staffing volumes which are present in residential care.

If that sounds like you, it may be better for you to receive nursing care. However, your doctor would advise you if this course of action would be in your best interest.

So, what is nursing care?
Nursing care is in many ways similar to a residential home. The key difference being that in a nursing home, a qualified nurse remains onsite 24/7 to help with the acute needs of residents.

At Briarlea, we do not provide nursing care. However, we have a great relationship with our district nurses. They pop by regularly to deal with any medical issues our residents may have. 

What is Palliative Care?

Palliative care is the care given to people when they are dying.

At Briarlea, if a resident is approaching end of life, we will do our best to make them comfortable. They will be cared for by the attentive staff they know; surrounded by the familiarities of the home they’ve made their own.

Loved ones are free to visit whenever they please. And we are here to offer them as much support as possible.

We like to care for our residents until the very end. But in some scenarios, a doctor may advise that it’s better for a resident to move to a nursing home or a hospice, which is more suited to their palliative needs.

If this happens to you, we will consult with you, every step of the way. We will work with you to find the best home that suits your personality, as well as any medical requirements you have.

In our local area, there are some lovely homes that specialise in palliative care.

We’ve listed a few for you below…
St Richard’s Hospice
Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court

Throughout, you can rest assured that your wellbeing will remain at the heart of any decision surrounding your care.


Most people fall in love with Briarlea straight away. But for some, Briarlea won’t be right for them. And that’s absolutely fine. It’s important that you pick a care home you’re happy with.

But if you’re after top quality care, friendly staff, cosy rooms and lots of laughs, why not pay us a visit. We’d love to show you what we have to offer. To arrange a visit, contact our dedicated care home manager, Jo.

If you have a room enquiry, please visit our contact page or CALL

01386 293 200