Help with choosing a care home in Dorset

Help with choosing a care home in Dorset

Dorset, with its rolling countryside and spectacular coastline has long been popular place for people to live in retirement.

For this reason the county has a high number of care homes.

Dorset is partly rural (west, north and south) and the east of the county in Bournemouth and Poole are much more urban.

Choosing a care home in Dorset may well relate to where your relative already lives, or nearness to family.

Find Dorset Care Homes

Age Space is currently working on our own Dorset Care Home Directory. For now you can search for care homes, dementia care, home care and other types of support in Dorset on the Care Choices website. Simply select the type of care you require from the drop-down and enter the location or postcode.

All Care Homes and Providers listed here are registered with the CQC – the independent regulator of health and social care in England. Each listing shows the CQC’s actual ratings for the provider’s services. This allows you to make an informed decision about your loved one’s care.

For more general information on choosing a care home, take a look at our Practical Guide on Choosing a Care Home.

Different Areas to Consider in Dorset

There are many factors to take into account when choosing the best location for a care home. Proximity to relatives is, of course, one of the major areas to consider. However, it is worth finding out more about the towns themselves. The following provides a brief overview of some of the major towns in Dorset and some of the features that might make it the best place to move to.

Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole

Known as “the conurbation”, this is the most populated and urban area of the county. Bournemouth and Poole are busy, with major shopping centres, facilities and reasonable public transport. Christchurch itself is small and pretty and is now linked in one unitary local authority with its bigger neighbours. It has the highest percentage of retired people in the UK.

Weymouth and West Dorset

To the west of the county, Weymouth is a popular, tradition seaside resort with a major shopping centre. Dorchester, the county town, is pleasant and also has a good range of shops, a large hospital and other facilities. Bridport and Lyme Regis are much smaller, but attractive coastal towns on the famous Jurassic Coast. Sherborne is historic and towards the north of the county. Public transport links are, however, quite poor.

The Isle of Purbeck

The main towns in Purbeck are Swanage and Wareham. Both are attractive places to live, but again suffer from a lack of public transport and have smaller shopping centres.

Average Costs of Care Homes in Dorset

The average costs of care homes in Dorset is higher than much of the rest of the UK. Residential care alone averages at £35, 250 per annum (compared to £33, 852 UK average.) This can be down to a variety of factors but is most likely due to how popular Dorset is for retirees.

Not every care home in Dorset will cost this much – and some may be more. Care Home costs differ based on a range of factors including:

  • Location
  • Type of care provide
  • Facilities available
  • Staff per resident

The Benefits & Drawbacks of Life in Dorset

Dorset is known for its coast, beaches and harbours and pretty villages.

Transport links vary across the county. There is a real mix of large well-connected towns, and more rural villages only accessible by car. Many of the smaller towns have no, or poor rail links – and Dorset has no motorways!

As a favoured holiday destination, some areas, particularly near the sea, become very busy indeed during the summer months.

Dorset has a wide range of care homes, although they also vary in quality – be sure to follow our guide on Choosing a Care Home before committing to move in somewhere. It is also a good idea to check their CQC rating. 

Dorset does have a great range of accessible days out, meaning you would never run out of things to do, even if you become less mobile. Check out our page on the Best Accessible Days Out in Dorset to find out more about them. 

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