Care Homes Nursing Homes, Assisted Living Communities and Retirement Villages all offer living arrangements with support for those who prefer not to, or may struggle to, live independently.

The degree of support on offer may vary, as will the range and standards of facilities on offer and the overall lifestyle proposition.

Any decision around a person’s living arrangements will always be a serious one especially where a person may be dependent on some degree of support.

A wide range of factors usually need to be considered before a decision is made. Very often, family members play an important or primary role in these decisions. Very often also costs are a serious consideration. As budgets are raised, expectations are also raised in terms of every key area.

Mystery Shopping can help businesses in these industries to examime more carefully how they are seen from the viewpoint of a potential resident (or family member of a potential resident).

Example businesses and situations

Care homes, retirement homes, nursing homes, assisted living communities, retirement villages, etc.

How is Mystery Shopping used and what are the potential benefits?

Due to the practicalities, visits and reports in this area are normally carried out on the basis of a family member of a potential resident. Visits are best carried out on an unannounced “drop-in” basis (without a prior appointment) where possible. The Mystery Shopper should ask to be shown around, ask relevant questions, take in replies and make observations. The eye of a discerning outsider may identify issues that are cosmetic, but may also be able to highlight areas for improvement that are more substantial and likely to have a genuine impact on residents. Video Mystery Shopping can be useful here in terms of taking in all the observations that might be made by a potential “customer” including the key “sales” conversation that takes place on any tour of the premises.