Care homes, what do I need to consider?
- By chloe
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Care homes are residential establishments that provide personal care from 24 hour staffing, as well as a range of other services including all meals, social activities, and in some cases nursing care.
They can be a fantastic option for some people and offer the chance for people to make new friends, feel safe and secure and take part in various social activities.
They are all regulated by the Care Quality Commision (CQC). Some care 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 nursing care has to be provided free as part of the NHS.
Finding and Choosing Care Homes
If you wish to explore the option of care homes then you should consider which might be the most suitable. If you are approaching the Local Authority for help with the cost of a care home you have a legal right to choose the home (find your Local Authority here). The Local Authority 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.
Specialist Care Homes
In making your choice you should consider that different homes do have different specialisms, including the ability to deal with 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 a good idea, and this will help you get a sense of:
- what the home feels like
- how you think you or your loved one would fit in
- 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 our Directory 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 you will be able to make a plan.
- Published on Apr 26, 2018