Help With Choosing a Care Home in Suffolk

Help With Choosing a Care Home in Suffolk

Orford Castle Suffolk - Suffolk is a great place in which to choose a care homeMoving 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 on searching for a care home covers everything you should be thinking about and what questions you should be asking when finding a care home for your relative.

Suffolk is one of the most popular places in the UK to grow old in, with its rural and coastal settings and traditional townships, so therefore has a large range of options when it comes to care homes.

Finding Suffolk Care Homes

Age Space is working hard on making our own care home search engine to help you find the best care home options in your area. In the meantime, we recommend using a directory like

Different Areas to Consider in Suffolk

Care Homes are spread across Suffolk and any one location might be better suited to your relative than another. The following guide 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

Bury St Edmunds Abbey

Commonly referred to as Bury, this historic market town’s main attraction is its medieval monastery that is located in the centre of the town and open for all to wander around. Bury St. Edmunds 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.

Care Home Options in Bury St. Edmunds


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.

Care Home Options in Haverhill


Newmarket Race Course

“The birthplace and global centre of thoroughbred horse racing”, Newmarket borders Cambridgeshire and was a popular Royal haunt, especially for King Charles I. This is another large town with a train station and is just off the A14, easily connecting it to the rest of the country. Discover Newmarket operates history tours across the town and race courses. It is surrounded by countryside and just a short, 25-min drive to Bury St. Edmunds and 15-min drive to Mildenhall.

Care Home Options in Newmarket



Located on the River Stour, Sudbury boasts scenic river walks and a variety of activities for the elderly or those with dementia. There is a train station, and good road connections, with it being 30-mins from Bury St. Edmunds.

Care Home Options in Sudbury


Framlingham Castle near Stowmarket

Stowmarket is 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 Food Museum – one of the biggest museums in Suffolk – and an active cinema.

Care Home Options in Stowmarket


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 the St. Elizabeth Hospice. Ipswich has excellent public transport and a variety of rail options.

Care Home Options in Ipswich.


Felixstowe Port - Choosing a care home in suffolk

Felixstowe is famed for its large sea port and is just a short drive from Ipswich Hospital (20-mins). It also has its own train station. This seaside town boasts a long sand/shingle beach and a vibrant town centre.

Care Home Options in Felixstowe


The final town on this list, Lowestoft is a large seaside town that is popular with retirees and young families, with good rail and road connections back into Suffolk and up to the neighbouring Norfolk town of Great Yarmouth (20-mins). Lowestoft is also home to Carlton and Oulton Marshes – a 151 hectare nature reserve.

Care Home Options in Lowestoft

Average Suffolk Care Home Fees

How much you can expect to pay for a care home per year depends on whether or not the older person in question requires residential care only, or residential with nursing care. In the UK this is usually around £37,237 per year (residential) and £51,700 (nursing).

As you can see from the table below, care homes in Suffolk are averagely more expensive than other parts of the UK. This is due to both its popularity as a retirement location and its proximity to London. However, this doesn’t mean that you can expect to pay the prices below as care home fees are dependent on a lot of things, such as location, facilities, space, type of care, length of care, staff per resident and preference.

 ResidentialResidential with Nursing
Frail Older£38,319£56,065

Estimates taken from a study by LaingBuisson from the Care of Older People UK Market Report 2018, adjusted for inflation

The Benefits and Drawbacks of Life in Suffolk

Natural Rural Beauty of SuffolkSuffolk is one of the more favoured place in the country for life after retirement and is the main 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, on average, slightly more expensive than many other parts of the country. Living costs are also similar to those found in central London, although do 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.

Ipswich Hospital

The CQC overall rating for Ipswich Hospital (April 2021) 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, was also rated “Requires Improvement” by CQC (April 2021). This is equally 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.