Frequently asked questions

Living At Abbeyfield Worthing
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How to choose new accommodation as you get older: Questions to Ask


Once you’ve decided that assisted living is the best choice for you or an elderly relative, the next step is to find the right assisted living facility in your area. Unlike  care and nursing homes, which are highly regulated, assisted living homes and houses can vary greatly in terms of what you get for your monthly payments.

When evaluating a facility, it’s wise to come prepared with a list of questions to ask. For example the answers to the questions below will help you determine which assisted living home in your area is the best possible fit for you and your family

What are the monthly and annual costs?

Costs may vary depending on level of service required, so ask about base costs as well as tiered options. Some homes may offer both private and shared rooms for different rates.

Abbeyfield Worthing Society (AWS): All inclusive cost except private telephone. Costs vary depending on room size, location etc. Price range approximately £1130 - £1550 pm.

How many residents live at the home?

Assisted living homes can range in size from very small (10 or fewer apartments) to enormous complexes with 400 or more residents. Enquire about size if this is important to you. Some people prefer smaller homes that are more like families.

AWS: Have two houses in Worthing, Beachside has 9 rooms and Seascapes has 10 rooms. Each house therefore has a happy family atmosphere.

Is there current availability?

Some homes will already be at capacity, in which case you may need to be added to a waiting list. If this is the case, ask about waiting times and where you appear on the list.

AWS: Please contact the Manager for vacancy details.

Is there a resident House Manager?

 Does a member of staff such as a House Manager live on the premises?

AWS: Yes, one in each of our two houses who are available during their working hours.

Are the staff friendly and helpful?

First impressions matter. Choose a facility where staff members are friendly and approachable. Pay attention to both how they treat you as a prospective client as well as how they treat current residents.

AWS: Yes, all our staff and volunteers do their utmost to be both friendly and helpful.

Does the facility offer any personal care services?

If your family member requires special care be sure to ask if it is available. Some homes offer these specialised services, others do not.

AWS: No, personal care is not generally available

Is the facility close to medical services?

You may wish to find an assisted living centre with close proximity to a doctor in case your relative ever needs urgent care. Some assisted living homes are affiliated with a hospital or nursing home.

AWS: Yes, Worthing Hospital and a number of doctors are only a short ride or taxi fare away.

Is the facility fully licensed and sanctioned?

Check to make sure that the facility has the proper registrations and operates within the standards set by the Care Quality Commission (CQC). Inspection reports can be seen on their web site

AWS: The accommodation provided by us is not regulated by the CQC as it is not possible for us to register. However, to ensure we meet the highest standards we have been externally assessed and have been awarded the Abbeyfield Core Standard, the highest possible level.

How are emergencies handled?

Make sure the facility has a well-defined plan in place to handle emergencies, including medical emergencies and evacuations.

AWS: Yes, all staff are trained in what to do in an emergency including fire and house evacuations. Also each resident is provided with a personal emergency alarm to allow them to summon help day or night.

How far is the home from your own place of residence?

Distance from your own home will likely be a factor in your decision, depending on how frequently you plan to visit your relative. Is the facility clean and attractive? Are the private rooms and common areas well-maintained?

AWS: Yes, both houses are cleaned daily and resident rooms are also regularly cleaned. All cleaning and heating costs are included within the monthly rental.

How large are the rooms?

Depending on your relative's furniture and other belongings, square footage may be a limiting factor. Ask about storage space.

AWS: Room sizes vary.

What is included in the room?

Get a tour and see what, if any, furnishings and appliances are provided with the room. For example, does the kitchen include a refrigerator and/or microwave? Is there TV access?

AWS: Rooms are furnished with a fridge, microwave and kettle. All rooms have a TV point.

What are the grounds like?

Investigate the outside of the centre as well as the indoor facilities. Are there gardens and other outdoor spaces if this is this important to your relative?

AWS: Yes, both of our houses have pleasant gardens available for all residents to use as they desire.

Does the centre offer health and wellness programs to keep residents active?

AWS: Yes, various activities and events take place throughout the year. More information can be found by clicking on Events. .

What other amenities and on-site services are offered?

Some assisted living homes offer gyms, swimming pools, hobby rooms, libraries, salons, chapels and other on-site amenities. These are a big draw for some older people, so see what’s available.

AWS: A hairdresser and a chiropodist visit both Houses regularly. Mobility scooter parking and charging is available at both houses.

What are the dining options?

Inquire about food service including meal times and the types of meals offered, as well as flexibility. You may wish to try a meal at the home and ensure that your relative is happy with the service.

AWS: All meals are provided in the house dining rooms. Meal costs are included within the monthly rental. Any prospective resident is welcome to try out our lovely home cooking with prior arrangement.

Are transportation services offered?

Some assisted living homes may provide some form of transportation for residents to reach appointments, shopping, entertainment and so on.

AWS: We do not need to provide transport as both of our homes are very close to shops and entertainment. Bus and taxi services are also readily available if required

Are pets allowed?

Be sure to ask if pets are allowed at the facility if your relative will be bringing along a cat, dog or other house pet. Some facilities do not allow pets.

AWS: Generally we do not allow pets.


Getting answers to all these questions should go a long way toward helping you decide which assisted living home is right for you. Don’t be afraid to be inquisitive and demand information – this is a big decision, and the extra investigative work will pay off in the long run.

Other Helpful Resources

It is difficult to decide the type of accommodation needed as we get older. Age UK provide a guide on the options available and provides a small booklet on what to look for when you visit. We can happily provide you with a copy of this on request.

We have also provided some links on this site which you may find useful as a source of further information.

We hope these questions have helped you with this very difficult decision. Though change is always hard, moving to an assisted living residence is usually a very beneficial step for an elderly person and you will hopefully find that your relative is happier, healthier and safer in such a facility than living on their own.

*** Call Our Manager on 01903 208665 now, to discuss your requirements and to make an appointment to visit us ***