Life in a care home at Barchester

At Barchester, we celebrate life and every person that lives or works in our homes for who they truly are. The quality of care we provide and the health, well-being and happiness of the people in over 250 care homes across the UK is at the center of everything we do. 

Life in a care home at Barchester is about more than high standards of care. With over 30 years’ experience, our teams are committed to enriching lives through stimulating the mind, the body and the soul, and providing the very best living environments.

What to expect from a Barchester care home

We believe that people in their later years should still enjoy a fulfilled and happy life, with support where required to do the things they love every day. And as one of the largest healthcare providers, we strive to do exactly that. 

Our care homes offer a wide range of activities and outings, all tailored to residents’ likes, preferences and abilities, and similarly our talented chefs ensure that the quality and choice of food is always of a high standard and supports residents’ nutritional requirements.

The information that follows will give you an insight into what life is like in a Barchester care home, but we encourage you to arrange a visit at a time that’s convenient to you. Our friendly team will be happy to show you around and answer any questions you might have about life in a care home.

care home
types of care

Types of care services

The type of care required will always be tailored to an individuals’ needs and while the care services available at Barchester vary from home-to-home, they all share a commitment to delivering quality care. Our services range from higher levels of 24-hour nursing care or specialist dementia care, to residential care that requires lower levels of support. Our homes also offer care on a long-term basis or as a short-term break, known as respite care.

Barchester’s people

Caring for others requires compassion, dedication and patience – qualities upon which we’ve built our teams, with dedicated people who have the skills and experience to deliver the highest quality care in a care home environment. We provide full training and development opportunities so that our people can get the most from their careers and be the best at what they do, and for those they care for. 

care plans

Tailored care plans

Prior to moving into one of our homes, we will spend time getting to know you and what matters most. As part of this, we’ll discuss care and well-being requirements to ensure we can fully understand how to support you to live a fulfilled life in a care home. These care plans are reviewed regularly, with family involvement encouraged, to ensure your care and support changes as any needs or preferences change.

Every person in our care receives a ‘Getting to know you’ booklet which is filled with prompts and questions about pastimes, hobbies, likes and dislikes. By gaining an understanding of your interests and passions, we can support you to live happily, comfortably and just the way you choose.

The importance of choice in every day

Moving into a care home doesn’t mean you have to stop enjoying the things you love, and at Barchester we want to make sure you, your family, and your friends don’t feel restricted in anyway. Visitors are welcomed into our homes at the times that suit them best, and our teams support the people they care for to live as independently as possible, offering variety and choice in everything they do. 

We understand tastes and personal preferences can change over time too, which is why it's so important that care plans are regularly reviewed and updated with individuals and their families.

Below are some examples of what you can expect to experience in our homes.

Support with your routines

Routines are an important part of each day and personal to every person. At Barchester, we want to help you maintain those routines and support independence where possible – whether it’s assistance with getting ready in the morning and knowing exactly how you like your bedtime drink, or making sure you’re accompanied for your daily stroll around the garden. Whatever your routine, if it’s important to you, then it’s important to us too.


Nutritious and delicious meals

Offering a choice of places to dine, as well as different menus and dishes are vital to the dining experience in our homes. Food in care homes is important to promoting positive well-being, and our talented and highly experienced chefs freshly prepare nutritious meals from seasonal produce – always taking personal preferences and dietary requirements into account. No request is ever too much trouble and we ensure light bite menus are available even during the night. Wholesome snacks and refreshments from our cafes are always available too, where residents and their visitors are more than welcome to help themselves.

Whether dining in the comfort of their own bedroom or enjoying a social occasion in a dining room, we aim to make every dining experience a positive one, and many of our homes offer private dining rooms for special occasions, perfect for celebrations or family gatherings in a more private setting.

Meaningful activities in care homes

No two days are the same in our care homes, and we ensure that each week incorporates a range of different types of activities and stimulation to support the mind, body and soul. These can include outings to local places of interest, live entertainment, events and opportunities to engage with the community.

We don’t believe in restricting activities to a specified timetable however, so ensure there are plenty of sources of entertainment for residents to enjoy outside of what you’d expect from care home daily activities. Understanding existing hobbies and the things you enjoy is an important part of this and will help us to continue doing the things you love, or support you to try something new.

Download brochure

More information on the types of activities and experiences you can expect in our homes can be found in our 'Life-enriching Activities' brochure.

Choice of social activities or peaceful reflection

From carers and nurses, to activities co-ordinators and chefs, our compassionate staff are all trained to use a person-centred approach - spending time getting to know every individual in order to learn what they like and what is important to them. There may be moments where quiet reflection is preferred over a more social occasion and our care homes offer a wide range of communal spaces and facilities to support you in what you want to do. 

What are the benefits of living in a Barchester care home?

Often families tell us that they finally have peace of mind knowing they’ve found the right home for their loved one. They feel reassured that tailored care is provided and they're happy and surrounded by people who value them for the unique person that they are, whilst still being able to enjoy the things they love. Even knowing the smallest things are all taken care of understandably comes as a huge relief.

  • Tailored & specialist care
  • 24-hour support & supervision
  • Safe, clean & regulated environments
  • Peace of mind for families
  • Short-term breaks for carers
  • Companionship
  • Stimulation and purpose
  • Focus on nutritious food & hydration

Facilities in a Barchester care home

In your search for the right care home, you’ll notice that Barchester care homes are designed to meet the needs of residents and we are committed to delivering premium services and facilities to those we support. We’re proud to offer a choice of spaces from stylish and comfortable lounges and cafes to relax and spend time with visitors, to spacious bedrooms and landscaped gardens. Many of our homes include their very own hair and beauty salons – the perfect opportunity to relax and enjoy a spot of pampering, or to maintain a regular beauty routine. 

Since 2015 we have invested in a major refurbishment programme, to refresh and redesign these spaces in a creative way that stimulates and encourages activities and interaction amongst the people that live and work in them. This programme is ever evolving as we ensure we offer the very best environments for our residents.

Building our communities

We know how important it is for residents to maintain links within their community, which is why we ensure there’s plenty of opportunities to engage with all ages. From visiting school choirs to pen pal schemes, and history talks to knitting clubs, these engaging and purposeful activities enable residents to stay connected with the things they love.

Keeping family and friends involved

Our doors are always open to visiting family and friends and they’re welcome to visit any time – day or night. We encourage families to play an active part in their loved one’s care as well as provide feedback, so that we can build strong partnerships, with the best interests of the loved one at heart. Visitors are also welcome to join in with events and activities or enjoy delicious meals with their family members.

Collage of residents and carers

Building connections between residents and staff

We value the experiences and life stories of every person in our care, and learn so much from discussing their lifetime of achievements, hobbies and passions. Our care teams treat residents with dignity and respect – as though they’re an extension to their own family – and through seeking to get to know someone with genuine interest, they build strong connections that enable them to provide the highest quality care and support.

Why we value our volunteers

We recognise the special impact that volunteers have on enriching the lives of the people who live in both our care homes and hospitals. Whether volunteering time or providing a service, volunteers help our homes build stronger links with local people and use their skills and time to benefit our residents.

We understand everyone has their own reason to volunteer, but what they do have in common is the compassion and strong desire to help others. There are endless ways to volunteer and make a difference in Barchester homes and we encourage anyone who is thinking about it to get in touch.

Real stories from our homes

"At Sycamore Grove we feel life experiences are important and as a surprise we arranged for Margaret to have her first Snooker lesson with Snooker Professional Mark Davis as a surprise for her 101st birthday!"

Congratulations Margaret on celebrating your 101st birthday in style!

Find the right Barchester care home for you

Whether you’re looking for care for yourself or a loved one, or are looking for an opportunity to volunteer or become part of our team, we’re here to help you.


Looking for help and advice?

If you’re not quite sure where to start with your search for care, our teams are here to help you. In collaboration with Barchester’s experts we’ve compiled useful information centred around life in a care home into a range of free guides, ranging from what to look for in a care home to explaining care home fees.

FAQs about life in a care home

What is it like to live in a care home?

A care home offers peace of mind that you or a loved one is receiving the right level of care, tailored to your specific needs. You’ll feel reassured knowing that the things you might have worried about before – for example, bills, travel and food – are all taken care of. Care homes include a range of communal spaces that are shared with other residents, but your bedroom is a private space of your own.

Barchester care homes strive to enrich lives in everything they do – through stimulating activities and positive dining experiences with delicious and nutritious food served by trained chefs.

Are there any disadvantages to living in a care home?

The advantages of living in a care home far outweigh the disadvantages. At Barchester, you can expect to receive a high quality of tailored care, in a premium environment where safety, comfort, nutritious food and meaningful activities are at the center of everything they do. The disadvantages may come down to the cost to pay to live in a Barchester care home, which varies depending on where you live in the UK.

What is the average age of a person in a care home?

The average age of a person living in a UK care home was 86 in 2023 according to the Office of National Statistics. The reasons for moving into a care home however will vary depending on care requirements and circumstances. For example, if a person has low care needs but would like to move into a care home for the reassurance of having care professionals on-hand, they may be much younger than 86.