Care homes

If your care needs cannot be met in your own home or if you no longer wish to remain in your own home you may consider moving into a care home. Leaving your own home to move into a care home is a big step. It is important to consider your choices carefully. This factsheet is intended to give you the information you need to make this important decision.

What is a care home?

A care home is a residential setting where a number of people live and have access to on-site care services.

Care homes can be run by local councils, businesses, or not-for-profit organisations.
If you decide to move into a care home you will probably get your own room which you will be able to personalise or ‘make your own’.  Staff in the home are trained and the home has to meet certain standards.  The manager of the home is checked and registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC), as is the owner of the home.  The CQC is responsible for regulating and inspecting all care homes in England and carries out regular inspections to ensure standards are being adhered to. For contact details please see ‘Further Information’ section.  

What to consider before moving into a care home

When people start to find living at home difficult they may think that moving into a care home is their only option.

In fact, there are many services available to help you maintain your independence and remain in your own home.  For instance a wide range of equipment is available that can help, your home could be adapted to meet your changing needs, or you could arrange for someone to visit you at home to help with day-to-day tasks such as washing, dressing, going to the toilet, eating etc.

You may also want to consider whether downsizing to a smaller more manageable home, possibly closer to family or friends, shops or transport routes might make a difference.  Another alternative may be moving to sheltered accommodation or into a supported living arrangement. 

As well as thinking about whether or not a care home is the right option for you, you will also want to consider the cost.  On average, a residential care home (without nursing care) will cost around £600 a week, i.e. £30,000 a year.
Local councils report that many people go into a care home before they need to.  As well as losing your independence, this also means that you will be spending more money than you might need to, as residential care is almost always more expensive than care at home or other forms of supported housing.
For more information about the support that is available to you in your own home and / or alternative housing options please see ‘Further Information’ section.

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