Understand your care options before you start looking for a solution.
"Many older people only move into care when they hit a crisis point or have no choice. Before taking steps towards moving into a care home, people should think through all the options."
If you want to talk to somebody rather than read about your options you can speak to your GP who can arrange for a care assessment for you. This will determine precisely what you need and the type of care that will be best for you.
Alternatively, for a confidential conversation, call the Chosen With Care Advice Line on 01892 300 530.
A Care Home is for people who may be struggling to look after themselves in their own home and whose requirements extend beyond regular visits from care providers. They can also be very helpful to people who are lonely living by themselves, and who want to be amongst like-minded people.
Care Homes cater for all day-to-day living needs. They offer communal spaces; dining and social areas. Bedroom options include – singles, doubles, small suites, typically with en-suite facilities.
Additional facilities could include; hair salon, beauty room, library, bar, gardens, café.
However, it is important to recognise that each care home is specific in what it offers in terms of care. This means you will need a good idea of what you will need to meet your medical and care needs today, and moving forward.
Not all care homes offer every type of care and wherever possible 'future proof' your care needs.
Care Homes have to be registered by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and inspected regularly, resulting in a rating.
Live in care means somebody lives with you all of the time. They provide support during the day and night. Live-in Care companies may be registered with the CQC. This depends on whether they employ carers or whether they provide only an introduction service – in which case they introduce a prospective employee to you and you employ them.
Some companies operate nationally, some regionally and some locally. The type of care provided will need to be discussed with the individual company.
Live in care is typically charged on a weekly basis. Depending on needs and working hours, costs can be similar to living in a care home.
Home Care is for a person – or couple – who want to live at home but who need help with daily tasks, on a regular basis.
The carer who visits will typically support with a range of tasks, for example; helping the person get up in the morning and go to bed at night, preparing meals, assisting with bathing, dressing and some Home Care agencies also provide nursing support.
The carer may well also get shopping for them, take them for regular appointments and provide a level of welcome companionship for the time they are there.
As with Live-in Care, there are numerous companies throughout the country providing Home Care Services, but, through the nature of the work and working hours, most operate on a local basis, drawing their carers from the community to ensure they can respond to needs quickly and provide carers who do not have far to travel.
Home Care companies have to be registered with the CQC and are inspected regularly.
A person requiring Home Care can expect several different carers supporting them on a regular basis. Minimum care stays are typically 30 minutes.
The term ‘Assisted Living’ needs to be accompanied by a warning as it tends to be used as an umbrella description for, and interchangeable with, several other terms. Have a look at our list below which provides a brief description of each. However, do bear in mind that assisted living is not usually suitable for somebody with dementia.
Assisted Living 'Schemes' are aimed at people over the age of 55 with low level care needs. An Assisted Living complex can offer different types of residential accommodation with a variety of social and care support facilities on some sites.
Within an Assisted Living Scheme, a resident usually has their own front door. You can typically buy or rent your living accommodation, whether a bedsit, an apartment, bungalow or small house. Some properties have their own garden, whereas in other locations, there are communal gardens.
Within the complex you may also find a variety of social spaces and venues – such as lounge, cafe, restaurant.
In addition to the purchase price or rental cost, you will pay fees for general maintenance and shared services and utilities, as well as any bespoke care package you may need.
You can live as independently as you like or are able.
Retirement villages are being developed across the country and they can offer an excellent place to live, catering for people of similar ages and with a variety of interests.
Ranging from 100-acre sites with working farms, church, spa complex, library, restaurants and numerous sports and social activities, to smaller sites with landscaped grounds and some leisure facilities, a retirement village can support very well through later life.
Often a retirement village will be able to provide home care services and many also have a care home and some medical provision on site too.
Typically, retirement village apartments or houses are purchased leasehold with the resident paying a regular fee for maintenance and shared services. Some developments ask for a percentage of the sale price to reinvest in the development on sale of the property.