When it comes to choosing the right care home, the first thing to decide is whether a nursing or residential home is required. A residential home is a safe place where 24 hour care and support is provided. A nursing home is very like a residential care home, the main difference is there are always trained nurses on duty there, so more suitable for those who have a medical condition and need treatment or have been told they have nursing needs.

Below the two types of care homes are described for you coupled with answers to a few of the more frequently asked questions on this topic, to help clarify your next right step on your care journey.

Nursing Home

  • There will usually be an option for long or short-term care
  • Nurses and carers provide 24 hour support here
  • An individual healthcare plan will be designed for each resident
  • Specialised care is provided for conditions and life events including: Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, Dementia, postoperative care and strokes
  • Social activities will be provided to an appropriate level

Residential Home

  • The care is tailored around the individual’s care needs
  • Residents are encouraged and supported to be independent
  • Social activities are provided but not compulsory
  • Care is provided as needed with regards to taking medication, bathing and meal times

Are there other care alternatives that may suit better?

There are a few other options you may wish to consider before deciding on moving into a care home. The alternatives options below will largely be dependant on your individual level of need.

  • Arrange care within your own home be it with a professional carer or a loved one
  • Adapt your home to meet your needs
  • Arrange for a care needs assessment to be taken, with a social care professional. They will be able to clarify exactly what you require but also what costs may be covered by your local authority
  • Moving into sheltered housing, which enables you to live independently with available on-site support

How do I find a suitable care home for my needs, in my desired location?

If you are looking for care, Care Sourcer offers a free searchable directory of local care homes. Or use one of our quick links below to find a care home near you.

If you need care urgently, we also have a team of care experts who are available by telephone to help guide you through the process.

Another useful source:

The Age UK website provide a very thorough and useful care home checklist of elements to check and factor in.