I met someone last week who told me a story about her grandfather, whose dementia condition had been worsening to such an extent that sadly he could no longer continue living on his own at home.

So while my new acquaintance was working abroad, her parents had found a care home for him, and by the time she had returned to the UK, he had already been moved.

But when she called round to see him, she was plainly upset by what she saw – in part, of course, because of his deteriorating health, but mainly because he was clearly very agitated. The home itself was OK, but the staff seemed to have a very poor attitude and showed little or no interest in her grandfather.

When she mentioned it to her mother the next day, it became clear that she too was having big misgivings and was coming to the conclusion that they would have to move him to somewhere else. It turned out that the home itself had been recommended by a friend, whose mother had lived there happily enough for 18 months or so. The trouble was that this was some years ago, and the home had obviously gone downhill since then. But because of the strong recommendation, they did not look round any other care homes by way of comparison.

Although moving him to a different care home is probably the right thing to do, there is evidence that relocating a resident can have extremely negative effects resulting from a second unsettling move.

The answer, of course, is to do one’s best to get it right first time. Finding a care home is fraught with difficulties at the best of times, but there are a few things you can do to help, for example asking for outside help, ensuring that you visit and have a good look round a number of homes, not being afraid to ask questions, and if at all possible taking your time before you make your final choice.