- Choosing a Care Home
- Your Funding Options
- Support at a Stressful Time
- Glossary of Terms
- Sources of Advice and Support
We are here to help you find the care that’s right for you. We know that finding and choosing the right care home, whether for yourself or a loved one, can be daunting. We can help with sources of support and information to help you through this stressful time. Today there’s more choice than ever before in the number and type of care homes available, but how do you know what to look for? We can guide you through the process of choosing a care home, explaining the different types of residential care home that exist and helping you to find the one that suits the nature and level of support you or your loved one needs.
What happens when you find the right care home? The majority of our customers share a single concern: what’s the best way to fund it?
Understanding all of your funding options can make a big difference to the care you choose.
Depending on your situation, you may be eligible for government assistance in meeting some, or all, of your care costs.
Social care isn’t free to everyone. Councils only have a limited amount of money and they may choose to pay for only those people who are in most need of help. When you contact your council about getting a care service it will carry out a care assessment. Depending on where you live, if your needs are assessed as low or moderate you may not be entitled to free care. If your needs do match the level set by your council, it will carry out a financial assessment.
There are also a number of financial support options for people who devote more than 35 hours per week to caring for a relative or friend. There are a number of criteria you must meet to qualify for the carer’s benefit, including being over 16 and ensuring the person you are caring for qualifies for a disability benefit.
Funding your own care
With changes to the way social care entitlements are calculated, we know that many individuals may not qualify for government support when looking for a care home. All of our homes welcome residents who choose to either fund their own care or top up their government entitlements to ensure they have the very best care and support.
Many of our new care homes provide a premium offering to those who wish to fund their own care. Our new homes offer fresh and modern environments and – like all of our homes – are full of passionate, exceptional people.
Our Care Homes also welcome residents who do not qualify for government support and wish to fund their own care.
Support from charities
There are many charities offering support to people who need social care. Organisations such as Age UK and Mencap do a great job in providing information, support and – in some cases – financial advice. You can find out what organisations are offering help in our list of sources of advice and support.
If you’d like to get in touch with us, send us a message.
We know that finding the right care can be quite a challenge. We’re here to provide whatever help you need.
If you’re looking for a care home for yourself or a loved one do get in touch with us and we’ll help you to identify exactly what services are right for you.
You can contact us with your query, or call us on 01323 442727.
Get the right advice
Whatever your care needs, there are many organisations – ranging from the NHS to charity groups – that can provide expert guidance and useful and reliable information. We have suggested some sources of advice and support to help get you started on finding this information. We have also provided some suggestions for things to consider when you are choosing a care home.
Remember that you can always draw upon your own network of support and talk things through with your family and friends. It’s often surprising how many people have been in a similar situation and have practical ideas and advice to offer.
Concerned about the cost of care?
Concerns about the costs can weigh heavily on the minds of those who are in need of care and support. Many of the organisations listed in our sources of information and support can provide guidance on how best to fund your care, and we have also included information on your funding options to help you better understand your options and entitlements.
Caring for carers
If you’re caring for a loved one, remember to look after your own needs. Many carers often tell us that they feel stressed or depressed, so looking after yourself is vital. If you’re caring for someone full time, you are entitled to a carer’s assessment with your local social services to help identify what support you might need. We can assist full time carers by providing respite care in one of our care homes. If you care for someone for more than 35 hours a week, you may be eligible for Carer’s Allowance or similar benefit. You can find out more about this directly from the Directgov website.
Whatever type of care you are looking for, you may come across various new terms. Below are some of the typical ones you might meet.
Assessment of needs
Local authorities are responsible for assessing individuals’ care needs and providing services to meet them. These services can be anything from care in the home to occasional day care or moving to a residential or nursing home. Care assessments – also called needs assessments – are free of charge for those who either need, or appear to need, care or support.
If the assessment determines that the individual does indeed need care, they will then undergo something called a Fairer Charging Assessment to establish how much they should pay for their own care.
A care plan is an agreement between an individual and those who are delivering care and support to them and is designed to help clarify what support is needed and how it should be provided. Care plans enable individuals to have a say in how they want to manage their health and personal care and ensures all health professionals and care and support workers are clear on the needs and goals of the individual.
Care Quality Commission (CQC)
When looking into support options you will often find references to the Care Quality Commission (CQC), an independent regulator which monitors the standards of social care services. CQC reviews cover all aspects of care including: treating people with dignity, making sure food and drink meets their needs, providing a clean, safe environment and adequately managing the services. You can find out the latest checks of any care service by visiting the CQC website.
The Care Inspectorate (also known as Social Care and Social Work Improvement Scotland or the SCSWIS) is the independent regulator for care and children’s services in Scotland. Like the CQC in England, the Care Inspectorate reviews all care providers on a regular basis to and assesses all aspects of care. You can find out the latest quality grades of any care service by visiting the SWSWIS website.
A carer’s allowance is a benefit provided by the UK government to help people who look after someone who needs full time care and support. To claim the Carer’s Allowance, you need to be aged 16 or over and care for someone at least 35 hours a week. For further information, visit the Direct.gov Carer’s Allowance website.
Equity release is a financial plan, offered by a number of companies, allowing older people to sell off part of their home and turn it into a lump sum of cash. Always take independent financial advice before embarking on any such scheme.
NHS continuing care
NHS continuing care refers to care and support provided by the NHS for people with ongoing healthcare needs. This care is provided by health and social care professionals over a period of time, generally outside of a hospital environment (most often in a care home or in your own home) and is arranged and funded solely by the NHS.
This refers to the type of care given to those who have been assessed as requiring care to be delivered by a qualified nurse. Like residential homes, they will offer support, accommodation and meals, but in addition will have the specialist expertise on hand to provide additional support and care.
Palliative care is an area of care that is focused on relieving and preventing the suffering of patients. This type of care can be suitable for a wide range of individuals, including those undergoing treatment for curable illnesses, those living with chronic medical conditions and those nearing the end of their life.
When people talk about personal care, they are talking about care for basic tasks such as washing, feeding and dressing.
When someone comes looking for care – whether it’s for themselves or a loved one – we firstly invite them to come and have a look around a care home to get a feel for the home and possibly speak to other residents. People are welcome to drop in at any time, but if you want to speak to a care home manager specifically, we can arrange an appointment.
We then arrange a pre-admission consultation which takes place in the person’s home. We review medical notes and speak to the potential resident, family and anyone else involved in care. We find out what people need from a physical and psychological point of view which allows us to decide if our service will be suitable. Once someone joins one of our care homes, we will review the service after six weeks to make sure it is meeting people’s needs.
Residential care homes
You’ll also hear these commonly referred to simply as care homes. They provide accommodation, meals and assistance with personal care for people requiring either short term breaks or long term care. Unlike nursing homes, residential care homes do not always employ nurses or other medical staff qualified to deal with complex medical needs. So if a resident’s needs change and they need medical support, they are likely to need to move to a nursing home.
Respite care (also known as short break or short-term care) is designed to provide support and the occasional break for full time carers. This may involve individuals using a day care centre to enable their carers a few hours to themselves, or a move into a residential home for a short period of time while carers are on holiday or in need of a longer break.
There are two types of respite care – planned care in which we carry out a rigorous pre admission process, and crisis care which can happen if a support worker contacts us to say they need a bed at short notice. We still carry out a pre admission process, but this will be quicker to take account of the time constraint.
Twelve week property disregard
When a local authority assesses a person to see whether they require long care and support, they will also do a financial assessment to determine whether the authority should be meeting the cost of this care. Although this assessment covers both savings and property, for the first 12 weeks of care the authority will ignore the value of property to enable individuals to find a way of deriving revenue from their property if funding is required. This might be through sale or renting it out to tenants. This is known as the twelve week property disregard.
Whether you are searching for care and support for yourself or a loved one, these websites offer guidance, advice and practical help.
Department of Health
The official website of the Department of Health providing information on latest policies, and development regarding all aspects of health and social care.
Care Quality Commission
The CQC is the health and social care regulator for England. You can use this to find the most recent inspection reports for providers of healthcare.
National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE)
NICE provides guidance on current best clinical practice
Care Standards Inspectorate for Wales
The Care Standards Inspectorate for Wales website
UK Online provides government information and services
Community Care Magazine
The website of Community Care magazine
Government Carer Information
Government information specifically for carers.
Age UK has been helping older people across the UK for more than 60 years.
For support, information, advice and local services for those looking after someone with dementia.
Bettercaring is dedicated to helping care professionals and consumers find care homes in the UK.
A public information and advisory service specialising in the issues relating to long term care.
Centre for Policy on Ageing
An independent organisation promoting social policies that allow older people to achieve the full potential of their later years.
Action on Elder Abuse
Action on Elder Abuse aims to prevent the abuse of older people
Guide to Care
Guide to Care is a resource for carers of elderly people.
Help the Aged
Provides practical support to help older people to lead independent lives, especially the frail, isolated and poor.
The Princess Royal Trust for Carers
Provides support for carers at carers’ centres around the country.
Offers advice on benefits and services available to carers.