Which? has found that many care homes are failing to provide all the information that people need.
When choosing a care home people have a right to information on costs, services and inspection results.
But in undercover research none of the 50 homes we approached provided all the information that should be made available.
Around two in every five homes failed to mention fees, and seven homes failed to provide any information at all.
In the worst examples, the information provided to Which? took the form of a promotional leaflet with little more than the name and address of the home.
These findings come despite Which?’s super-complaint to the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) in 2003 and the OFT’s subsequent recommendation that homes make clearer information available.
When looking for a care home, factors to consider include care needs, location, standards of care, and funding.
With full and clear information difficult to come by, Which? advises visiting three or more homes – ideally with the potential resident – armed with questions in these areas.
Which? Editor Neil Fowler said: ‘Choosing a care home is a difficult time for all concerned, so it’s essential that there’s clear information available, so that residents and their families can make informed choices.
‘When residents are paying up to £1,000 a week, it’s shocking that access to information is still really poor. We want regulators to clamp down on homes that don’t comply with standards and regulations, to put an end to care home confusion.’