Options for care outside your home can include residential or nursing homes, also known as care homes.
When is a care home appropriate?
You may want to move into a care home if you find it difficult to look after yourself and it's not possible for you to receive the care you need in your own home.
Some care homes just provide personal care. This can include help with:
- washing, bathing and showering
- managing continence
- taking medication
You will need a care home which also provides nursing care if you are extremely frail or bedridden or have a medical condition that requires frequent medical attention from a doctor or a nurse.
Assessment of your care needs
Contact the social services department at your local council if you are considering moving into a care home. They will carry out an assessment of your needs.
Find contact details for your council's social services department on your council's website.
Social services will suggest the best form of care for you. This could include:
- having care provided in your own home
- moving to a care home for a short period of time
- moving to a care home permanently.
If the social services department suggest that you require care, they will be responsible for arranging and paying for this. They will also carry out a financial assessment to see if you should contribute to paying for a care home.
In most cases you have to fund your own care if you have capital of more than £23,250. Capital includes savings, investments and property.
Choosing a care home
If you are going to move into a care home, you should be allowed to decide which one. It must be:
- suitable for your assessed needs
- not cost much more than the care homes that social services already pay for in your area
- prepared to accept the contract from your social services department
Find information about care homes from Housing Care.
You can also view the most recent inspection reports for any care home you are considering.
If you want to move outside your local area, your social services department will have to arrange this. Your social services department can make a special arrangements for you If you want to move to another council's area or to another part of the UK.
The social services department that assessed your needs will be responsible for paying for your accommodation wherever you go. You may have to make a contribution.
You can contact the social services department through your local council.
Moving into a care home temporarily
Care homes don't just provide permanent accommodation. Many care homes cater for people who only need to stay temporarily. This could be to:
- allow you to convalesce after an illness
- give you and your carer a rest
- let you try out living in a care home to see how you like it
If you're not ready to move into a care home
You do not have to move into a care home if the social services department suggest it following an assessment.
If you are mentally capable of looking after yourself, you can refuse to go into care or refuse to accept care in your home. Your wishes should always be taken into account when any suggestions are made and the final decision should be yours.
Get advice if you think your wishes aren't being taken into account.
Care homes advice and information
More information about care homes is available from: