A residential care home provides a home, 24-hour personal care and support to the elderly and others who may find it difficult to manage daily life at home. Residential homes provide its residents with a safe place where they are looked after according to their care needs, such as help with washing, dressing, administering medication and mobility. People living in a residential home can treat the setting as their home and live there with have access to the number of services available on site.
Unlike nursing homes, residential care homes do not provide nursing care, so they are not for people who require specialist or complex medical nursing care. Residential homes offer personal care services and support to individuals and can administer medication, but do not provide healthcare to treat medical conditions.
When choosing a residential home, look for homes that have relationships with local health professionals such as GPs, physiotherapists and dentists who can visit residents if necessary.
Residents living in a residential care home, can receive long-term, short-term, respite, emergency and even palliative care. Although residential care homes generally care for older people, they provide support for people over the age of 18. A residential home is used by people who struggle with daily life due to old age, a physical disability, mental health problems, a learning disability addiction or other care needs.
A residential care home might be open to people with a variety of care needs or specialise in conditions such as physical disability or dementia, supported by care assistants. Depending on what stage they are, people with dementia often live in a residential home as they may need to be looked after and need help with daily activities.
Residential care homes care for people with more basic ‘low’ care needs, people who require assistance throughout the day and night with various tasks, for example getting dressed or washing. Living in a residential care home takes away the need to do chores as the home will be kept clean by staff and their clothes will be washed.
Many residential homes have their own café, hair salon, cinema, bar, gym and other facilities to enhance residents’ lives. A landscaped garden is also common feature of a residential care setting, allowing people in their care to get fresh air and enjoy the sun. Residential homes can be large or small, providing accommodation for as little as one person up to more than 400. Each resident will have their own bedroom, which, depending on the care home, they can personalise to feel more at home.
People living in a residential care home are given breakfast, lunch and dinner with snacks in between and benefit from regular social events and entertainment, combating the loneliness they might have felt if they lived alone at home.
Residential care can be expensive, especially if you are a self-funder and have to cover the fees on your own. The average weekly cost of living in a residential care home in the UK is over £700.
Tare different ways to pay for residential care home fees and you may receive support from your local council.
Help with dressing and undressing
Personal care, including bathing, washing, skin and nail care and hygiene
Help with getting in and out of bed
Meals and snacks throughout the day
Activities to encourage physical and mental exercise
Social activities and entertainment, both in and out of the home
My Dad’s got dementia, can he live in a residential care home?
A person living with dementia may be able to live in a residential care home, depending on what stage they are at. During the early stages, the person may only need to be looked after and get help with daily activities and not need nursing care to manage their condition.
What care services do residential care homes provide?
Residential homes offer personal care, help with dressing and getting in and out of bed, help with using the toilet, medication administering and various physical and social activities.
Who are residential care homes for?
Residential care homes look after people with a range of needs, elderly people who find it difficult to still manage at home those, people with a physical disability, people living with dementia or a learning disability. A residential care home is for people with basic ‘low’ care needs, so they require assistance with daily life but not complex, medical care from a nurse.
How much does it cost to live in a residential care home?
Residential care homes in the UK cost over £700 per week to live in. How much you pay depends largely on your financial situation; you may get support from your local authority. The fees vary depending on your location, as you’d expect London being the most expensive, and costs can be higher or lower depending on the home’s facilities