Types of Care Home
There are over 17,000 care homes in the UK. The term care home refers to homes which offer residents 24 hour care. There are different types of care home, providing tailored care for different needs, and also offering varied facilities, settings and resources.
Care homes are run by Local Authorities, private owners, or sometimes charities. Different care homes cater for different residents’ needs and you will need to bear this in mind when you’re looking for a care home to stay in.
Categories of Care HomeWhen care homes are registered (as they all must be), the owners must state the type of home they will run and who the home will take care of. One of the categories is for people who require care because of old age.
Other categories include people with dementia, those with mental illness, people with disabilities, and more. There are nine categories altogether.
Registering each home in a particular category means that the homes can only accept residents from that category. Within these categories individual homes may also have other criteria for residents such as age and the number of residents with certain needs that they can accept at any one time.
Residential Care HomesResidential homes offer care for those who can no longer continue to live independently in their own homes. Care in a residential home will offer meals and food, help with washing and bathing, help with becoming more independent and emotional support.
Although staff will be on hand 24 hours, there won’t necessarily be a nurse on the premises at all times.
Nursing HomesNursing homes are for those who require medical attention. Nursing staff are on hand at all times to care for residents. Nursing homes usually cost more than residential homes due to the greater staffing and care resources required.
Some homes will be a combination of residential and nursing home.
You may be eligible for help with the nursing part of your fees. Our article Help With Nursing Care Costs will give you more information on this.
Specialist HomesThere are also specialist care homes which cater specifically for particular needs or disabilities. This will be reflected in specialist trained staff working at the care home or the specially adapted facilities which it offers.
Finding the Right Care HomeA needs assessment carried out by your local authority will determine the type of care home which is most suitable for you, whether residential or nursing. If you need nursing care it’s unlikely you’ll be able to move into a purely residential home and vice versa.
You will usually have the right to choose your care home, even if you are not paying the care fees yourself. However, the council will set an amount that they can pay for a resident with your needs and if you choose a care home above these fees, you’ll have to pay the difference yourself.
Your Local Authority will also be able to advise on specialist care homes. Charities devoted to specific disabilities and conditions will also be able to provide you with information and advice on this.
When it comes to choosing an actual care home there are a number of things to bear in mind beyond just the type of care home. Factors include location and ease of accessibility for family and friends, environment and facilities. Our article Choosing a Care Home will help you and your loved ones with this important decision.