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Care homes

Types of care home

There are many types of residential care homes available for all types of people with a range of conditions or disabilities.

  • Daily care homes: help maintain residents daily living activities including personal care and mobility as well providing a safe and secure living environment in which residents can engage in activities.
  • Medical care homes: employ registered nurses and health professionals to administer medical care to residents. They also employ the services of other skilled professionals such as physiotherapists.

Care homes: Getting started

Ask for an assessment from social services for the person you care for. Social services will clarify what kind of residential care is needed and what options are available. They can also provide information about local care homes and any financial help the person you care for is entitled to.

What services do care homes offer?

The services care homes offer differ between facilities, they often include:

  • Room and board
  • Monitoring and administering medication
  • Personal care (washing, bathing, dressing)
  • 24-hour emergency care
  • Social and recreational activities

Finding the right care home

This takes time and patience. It is important to begin the search for a suitable care home well in advance of seeking admission into the facility. There are often long waiting lists for private and public care homes, so planning ahead can make the transition of moving into care accommodation much easier.

Talk to the person you care for about the services they will need, take time to consider which are most important before starting research into a suitable care home.

Think about what daily activities require care assistance and how often help is required - remember this level of care may progress as a condition or illness worsens.

Financial considerations

You and the person you care for will need to carefully evaluate your financial options. Carer organisations will be able to help with information regarding the benefits, tax credits and financial support available to you and the person you care for, they may help you determine what care home you can afford, or have access to.

Evaluating residential care homes

When searching for a care home, it can be difficult to remember the detail of each facility you visit. The following checklist may help you evaluate each one:

Care homes: General

  • What are the visiting hours?
  • Does the Care Quality Commission (CQC) regulate the care home?
  • Is the care home local to friends and family?
  • Are there shops, local amenities near by?
  • Is the local area suitable for residents? Noisy, busy traffic etc.

Care homes: Residential preferences

  • Are residents allowed pets?
  • How involved will you be with the care of your relative?
  • Are there regular update meetings for the family of residents?
  • Will the religious or ethical requirements of a resident be considered?
  • Is the resident’s first language spoken?
  • Are other residents happy and comfortable?
  • Does each resident have an individual care plan?
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