Care homes

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 is 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
  • help to manage continence
  • help to take medication

You will need a care home which also provides nursing care if you are extremely frail or bedridden or you have a medical condition that requires you to have frequent medical attention from a doctor or a nurse.

Moving into a care home temporarily or permanently

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 from each other
  • let you try out living in a care home to see how you like it

Assessment of care needs before moving to a care home

Contact the social services department at your local council i f you are considering moving into a care home. They will carry out an assessment of your needs. You can find contact details for your council's social services department in our directory or 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 or moving to a care home for a short period of time. They may also suggest 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.

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 f ollowing 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.

Choosing which care home to move into

If you are going to move into a care home, you should be allowed to decide which one, so long as it:

  • is suitable for your assessed needs
  • does not cost much more than the care homes that social services already pay for in your area
  • is prepared to accept the contract from your social services department.

You can find information for care homes that suit your needs through Elderly Accommodation Counsel's HousingCare. 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 still have to arrange this for you. If you wish to move to another council's area or to another part of the UK, your social services department can make a special arrangement for you to do so.

The social services department that assessed your needs will be responsible for paying for your accommodation wherever you go. (Remember, you may have to make a contribution.) You can contact the social services department through your local council.

Care homes advice and information

More information about care homes is available from:

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