Your complete guide to care homes in the UK

Your complete guide to care homes in the UK

A guide to care homes

We know choosing a care home for your loved one is a huge decision to make. After all, you want your elderly relative to receive the very best care and treatment possible; a place that’s nurturing, considerate and enjoyable to be around.

You’ll probably have a lot of questions before choosing a care home. That’s where we’ll be able to help. We’ve been a care home specialist for many years and understand what relatives want and need to know before choosing a home for their elderly parent or grandparent.

Read on to find out more about finding the perfect home.

 

What is a care home?

First off, let’s get back to basics. You might be wondering what a care home is and what it can do for you?

A care home is a place where people can receive personalised, professional and tailored care for ailments, diseases or simply just older age.

The type of care a person receives depends on their own unique needs. Typically, a person may receive care for washing, eating, going to the toilet or taking medication etc.

Good care homes also enhance people’s lives. For example, a dementia care home will run activities for residents suffering from dementia which helps them lead a more fulfilled and enjoyable daily lifestyle.

 

How many care homes are in the UK?

Incredibly, there are 21,723 care homes across the UK – so plenty to choose from. Of course, not all care homes deliver the same level or quality of care. Plus, you have different care homes that cater to different resident’s needs.

 

What are the different types of care home?

There are a number of different types of care homes that specialise in different areas. Here is a list of the most popular types:

  • Respite care
  • Convalescent care
  • Dementia care
  • Disability care

If your relative is suffering from a particular type of disability, it’s important to source a care home that specialises in that area and can offer the treatment they need to lead a happier life and keeps discomfort to a minimum

 

What is a dementia care home?

A dementia care home is a care home that has the staff and facilities to properly care for people suffering from dementia.

If someone suffering from dementia has seen their illness progress, families might decide it’s safer for that person to move into a dementia care home.

This is because dementia care homes come with 24-hour supervision and are designed to give dementia sufferers a better quality of life.

It’s always worth, when speaking to a residential care home, a few questions around how qualified they are in caring for dementia sufferers, such as:

How many carers have been trained in dementia care?
What level have they been trained to?
Do they have any certificates to show they’ve been trained properly?
Ask about carer’s experiences treating those with dementia
Speak to other residents and families about their experience with the care home

Through asking these questions, you’ll feel more confident in placing your loved one under the care of others.

 

How to choose a care home

Choosing a care home for your loved one is a big decision, so you might be wondering what questions to ask and what to look for in your care home of choice. Here are some of the key things to consider before making a decision.

Type of care

If you loved one is suffering from a particular disability, such as dementia, it’s important to find out if the care home you choose is well equipped with qualified staff and accommodating facilities.

Reviews

Whether it’s online or asking residents/families that have had dealing with the care home, it’s important to find out if they have good reviews and a trustworthy reputation.

Location

Choosing somewhere close-by to where you live will have a big impact on how often and how easily you can visit your relative or loved one when they’re in care.

Reports

The CQC reviews care homes across the country and produces assessments that take into account staff performance, risk factors, care and treatment. It’s worth reading these reports to make sure the home has performed well in these areas.

Vacancies

Always check that the care home in questions has vacancies to begin with! You’ll be frustrated if you finish researching care homes to find out they’re fully booked.

 

What makes a good care home?

We at Highpoint Care have spent many years in the business, committed to delivering the highest standards of care to our residents.

When summing up what makes a good care home, we believe it’s:

  • Quality of care. This is vital. That’s why we employ the best staff to deliver the highest standard of care.
  • Compassion. We understand how difficult it is for families considering care for a loved one. That’s why we like to discuss a family’s options with them compassionately and openly.
  • Location. Everyone wants their loved ones to be in comfortable, uplifting and beautiful surroundings.
  • Facilities. It’s important for a care home to have excellent facilities that can cater for the individual needs of a resident.
  • Tailored care. Everyone is unique. That’s why a care home should be able to provide tailored care to residents

 

Will my local authority help me pay for a care home?

There is help available for affording care home treatment for those who need it. Local authorities work to specific income thresholds, which in turn dictates the amount of financial support a resident or family can receive. This changes depending on which country within the UK you reside.

How is this tested? Well, your local authority will take into account your savings, assets and income. This includes:

  • Total value of your home
  • Savings
  • Pension plan
  • State pension income

There are certain things that are exempt, however, so it’s always worth exploring additional funding options. For example, your home will not be included in the means test if any of the following are still living there:

  • a spouse or partner
  • a close relative who is aged over 60 or qualifies for a disability benefit
  • a child you are responsible for

England and Northern Ireland

If your savings and assets are less than £14,250 your local authority may be able to provide you with full financial support.

If your savings and assets are between £14,250 and £23,250 your local authority may provide you with partial financial support.

If your savings and assets are above £23,250 you will be expected to fund the care yourself.

Scotland

If your savings and assets are less than £18,000 your local authority may be able to provide you with full financial support.

If your savings and assets are between £14,250 and £28,500 your local authority may provide you with partial financial support.

If your savings and assets are above £28,500 you will be expected to fund the care yourself.

Wales

If your savings and assets are less than £50,000 your local authority may be able to provide you with full financial support.

If your savings and assets are above £50,000 you will be expected to fund the care yourself.