If you can no longer manage in your own home, moving into a residential, nursing or specialist home might be a good option for you. Care homes can be your long term home, or somewhere you stay for a few days or weeks (on a regular or one-off basis).
Types of care homes
Care homes offer a variety of different services. You have the right to select your own, as long as it meets your individual needs. So, if you need nursing care or have a specific disability or condition, you may need to move into one that provides specialist support.
Residential care homes
In residential homes you have your own bedroom, sometimes with a private bathroom, but share communal facilities with other people. They provide regular meals, personal care such as bathing as well as emotional support.
Nursing care homes
If you need nursing care on a more frequent basis because of a disability, injury or illness, a nursing home might be more suitable. The services they offer are the same as residential homes, but a qualified nurse is also on duty 24 hours a day.
Specialist care homes
If you have a disability, long-term illness or mental health condition, you might choose to go into a care home that includes specially trained staff or adapted facilities. Examples of specialist care homes include Parkinson's disease care, Huntington's disease care, palliative (end-of-life) or hospice care, dementia care, learning disability care.
Run by doctors, nurses, social workers and counsellors, hospices specialise in palliative care, which aims to make the end of a person's life as comfortable as possible and relieve symptoms when a cure is not possible. There is no charge for hospice care, but you must be referred by your GP, hospital doctor or district nurse.