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 independant
  • 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?

When it comes to finding and selecting a care home, the Care Sourcer team can help you. We provide an entirely free care matching service. Call us on 0845 050 3317 or complete a care request online and we will find you your best care options within 48 hours in your desired location.


Please refer to the Support and Guidance section of our website for more help if you found this useful, we add new content weekly in order to provide ongoing and fresh support material for you.  You may be particularly interested in the Potential care provider key questions to ask available within the Understanding Care section of Support and Guidance.

If you feel you need further advice please reach out to us. Our health care specialist Rosie will be more than happy to talk with you via our helpline on: 0845 050 3317 or email as preferred: r.mcginley@caresourcer.com


Another useful source:

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

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