One of the first options you have to consider when choosing residential care is whether you need the care home to provide nursing care, or just standard personal care.
A care home registered to provide personal care will offer support, ensuring basic personal needs are taken care of. A care home providing personal care only can assist you with meals, bathing, going to the toilet and taking medication, if you need this sort of help.
A care home registered to provide nursing care will offer support for long-term medical conditions requiring nursing assistance. A care home providing nursing care has full time nursing staff.
Residential homes provide care for older persons who may be finding it difficult to manage at home and who may need help with personal care such as bathing and dressing, or additional help with meals.
Residential care homes do not provide nursing care however they may be registered to provide care for people with memory illnesses such as dementia.
Registered nursing care homes have trained nurses in attendance 24 hours a day and cater for people who require a higher level of care than a residential home can provide.
The fees charged in nursing homes are usually higher than those in residential homes. The NHS may make a nominal contribution towards these fees for the nursing aspect of the care provided; this is known as NHS funded Nursing Care.
Dementia is an illness that is becoming more common in older people. There are different types of dementia including Alzheimer’s, Lewy Bodies (LBD) and vascular dementia amongst others.
Depending on the level of dementia and the level of care that is needed, care may be provided in either a Residential Care Home or Nursing Care Home.
Individuals who are suffering from a terminal, long term, or life threatening illness need highly personalised, active and compassionate care to maintain the highest possible quality of life.
Care focuses on the control of unpleasant symptoms such as pain or nausea for the individual, as well as support, help and advice for the carer, family and friends.
Stays in a care home may also be short-term for a few weeks or months, rather than permanent.
Respite care is available for individuals who need short term care for between one to four weeks to enable a full time carer to have a rest or holiday, or in the event that the carer themselves becomes ill temporarily.
Some care homes have rooms specifically reserved for respite care; other homes only offer this service if there is a vacant room available.
Respite care can be provided as a one off stay or for more frequent stays. Respite care enables people to try ‘the experience’ of being in a care setting to decide whether they need care on a permanent basis.
Individuals who need a period of recuperation after an illness or operation may be cared for in either a residential or a nursing home depending upon the level of care that is needed.
Some homes are able to provide specialist treatment to assist the recovery period such as physiotherapist / occupational therapist. This may be in-house or external providers.