Care homes are residential establishments that provide personal care from 24 hour staffing, as well as a range of other services including all meals, a range of social activities, and in some cases nursing care. They can be a fantastic option for some people offering the chance to make new friends, feel safe and secure and take part in various social activities.
They are all regulated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC). Some homes will also provide nursing care on a 24 hour basis, and these may call themselves “Nursing Homes”. Legally however there is no difference in their status, although the nursing care has to be provided free as part of the NHS.
Choosing a Care Home
If you wish to explore the option of a care home then you should consider carefully which might be the most suitable. If you are approaching the Council for help with the cost of a care home you have a legal right to choose the home, but the Council has a right to restrict their contribution to a ceiling that they believe is sufficient to purchase the care that you need, and any financial help will be subject to a means test. You may be able to top up any financial contribution from your own resources or those of a family member, but this is a complex area – see our guidance on help with the cost of care.
In making your choice you should consider that different homes do have different specialisms, including for example in relation to different health conditions. There are a number of places where you can find advice about this including sites such as Care Home UK Going for a visit is obviously an extremely good idea, and this will help you get a sense of what the home feels like , how you think you would fit in, and what other facilities are within easy reach of the Home. It also gives you the opportunity to ask questions and talk to some of the other residents. It is important to look carefully at the conditions of your stay e.g. is everything covered in the fee quoted or are some things charged extra, and what happens if your condition worsens at least temporarily – how flexible is the care that they can provide. You can also consult the CQC to find out details of the latest inspection on that Home
Most sources of help available will be very locality-specific, and you are likely to need to make enquiries locally to follow up on any of these ideas. If you do want to find out more we suggest that you look at sources of advice and information first.
As with everything else the important thing is to carefully consider what the consequences of your situation are, what you want to do about it, what you want to achieve, and what resources you have available. Then with this information make a plan