Moving your elderly relative to a care home is a big step that needs to be handled sensitively. For older people who don’t fully appreciate their state of health or the demand that their care requires, it can represent losing independence and can be a jarring change. Therefore, choosing the best care home for your parents is vital to ease the transition. This page will guide you through things to consider when picking a care home in Suffolk.
When searching for a care home there are lots of things to consider. Our national guide for searching for a care home covers everything you should be thinking about, and questions you should be asking, when finding a care home for your parent.
Suffolk is one of the most popular places in the UK to grow old in with its rural and coastal settings, traditional townships and therefore has a large range of options when it comes to care homes.
- Searching for a Care Home in Suffolk
- Different Areas to Consider
- Average Care Home costs in Suffolk
- Elderly life in Suffolk
Finding Suffolk Care Homes
Age Space is currently building a search directory to find care homes in Suffolk. Watch this space!
Different Areas to Consider in Suffolk
Care Homes are spread across Suffolk, and any one location might be better suited to your relative than others. The following provides a brief overview of the major towns in Suffolk and some of the features that might be most appealing to your family. You might also want to check out Age Space’s Cultural Gems for the Elderly in Suffolk.
Bury St Edmunds
Commonly referred to as Bury, this is a historic market town’s main attraction is its medieval monastery located in the centre of the town – open for all to wonder around. Bury is a large town with all the amenities you need and is also home to West Suffolk Hospital and its accompanying hospice, St Nicholas Hospice Care.
Bordering Essex and Cambridgeshire (14 miles from Cambridge itself), Haverhill is a large countryside market town surrounded by the chalk hills of Newmarket Ridge. Haverhill is now a largely residential and industrial town, with a small town centre, some royal history and limited train connections.
“The birthplace and global centre of thoroughbred horse racing”, Newmarket borders Cambridgeshire and was a popular Royal haunt, especially for King Charles I. Another large town with train station and is just off the A14, connecting it to the rest of the country. Discover Newmarket operates history tours of the across the town and race courses. Countryside surrounds and it is just a short 25-min drive to Bury St Edmunds and 15-min from Mildenhall.
Located on the River Stour, Sudbury boasts scenic river walks, a variety of activities for the elderly and those with dementia – including the Chilton Club Day Care Centre. There is a train station, and good road connections – 30mins from Bury St Edmunds.
Located in the heart of Suffolk, next to the A14, connecting Bury St Edmunds (21-mins) and Ipswich (20-mins). It is also on the main railway that connects London and Norwich. Stowmarket boasts a large town centre with a variety of shops and the Museum of East Anglian Life – one of the biggest museums in Suffolk and an active cinema.
Set along the River Orwell Ipswich, the capital of Suffolk, makes use of its waterfront location with a variety of riverside attractions including cafés, galleries and shops. It is home to Ipswich Hospital and St Elizabeth Hospice. Ipswich has excellent public transport and rail options and a variety of
Felixstowe is famed for its large sea port and is just a short drive from Ipswich Hospital (20-mins) also has its own train station. This seaside town boasts a long sand/shingle beach and a vibrant town centre.
The final town on this list, Lowestoft is a large seaside town popular with retirees and young families, with good rail and road connections back into Suffolk and up to the neighboring Norfolk town of Great Yarmouth (20-mins). Lowestoft is also home to Carlton and Oulton Marshes – a 151 hectare nature reserve.
Average Suffolk Care Homes Fees
The average cost of a residential care home in the UK, in 2019, was £33,852 a year, rising to over £47,320 with nursing care included. The average, as you can see by the table below, is greater in Suffolk than the rest of the UK. This doesn’t mean this is the price your parents will have to pay as different homes offer services at different price points depending on a variety of factors including location, services required, quality of facilities, staff per resident, and the age of the facility.
These numbers are based on a study published by LaingBuisson in the Care of Older People UK Market Report 29th edition.
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The Benefits and Drawbacks of Life in Suffolk
Suffolk is one of the more favoured place in the country for life after retirement and is reason for Suffolk’s average age being higher than the rest of England. A farming county, with beaches, charming market towns and tons of history, Suffolk also has several accessible bustling centres and great transport links to the rest of the country. Visit Age Space’s Accessible Days Out in Suffolk page and our Cultural Delights for the Elderly in Suffolk for some ideas!
For these reasons Suffolk is slightly more expensive to grow old in – house prices and care homes are averagely slightly more expensive. Living costs are also similar to those found in central London, although does not boast the same quality of internet connection – some of the lowest in the country.
As far as healthcare is concerned, the two major hospitals serving the Suffolk area, Ipswich and West Suffolk hospitals, were both inspected by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) – the independent regulator of Health and Social Care in England.
The CQC overall rating for Ipswich Hospital was that it “Requires Improvement” but it performed well in the sections relating to elderly care.
See the Full Report for a breakdown of the results.
West Suffolk Hospital
West Suffolk Hospital based in Bury St Edmunds also was rated “Requires Improvement” which was also the case in the sections relating to elderly care, although it scored well in effectiveness and caring.
See the Full Report for a breakdown of results.