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Care homes are live-in facilities which provide food, accommodation and personal care for residents, as well as access to 24-hour medical care from trained medical professionals when required.

Sometimes it may not be possible to adapt your house in such a way that you can continue using it freely and you may decide that it is better to move to a new home. You may want to move to a smaller house like a bungalow or a retirement flat, or you may consider moving to a care home. If you are thinking about moving, it is worth considering whether it is best to stay in the area you are in now, or if it would be easier for you to be nearer to shops or closer to family or friends.

Your options

If you are finding it difficult to live at home but wish to remain independent, supported housing, such as extra care housing or supported living accommodation, may be able to help you in doing so.

Supported housing options provide the additional support you may need to continue living independently, such as help with meal preparation, personal care or other essential daily tasks. The support you receive will depend on your individual needs.

Depending on your care and support needs, an alternative option is a shared lives scheme. This scheme is primarily for adults with dementia, learning disabilities or mental health issues. You are matched with an approved carer and placed in their home with them.

Choosing a care home

If you feel you are no longer able to live in your own home, other alternatives can be considered such as moving into a care home. A care home employs staff to provide the care and support you need. If you have more serious health needs, a nursing home may be more suitable for you, where you can get more specialist nursing support.

Once you have decided on the best option for you, you can use our CarePlace directory to search for care providers who can help you at home or find a care home which suits you.

Care providers have to be registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC). CQC monitors, inspects and regulates these services to make sure they meet fundamental standards of quality and safety.

How much does it cost?

The cost of care homes varies, often depending on the facilities provided and the amount and type of care and support you need. Care homes with nursing tend to cost more because they provide a greater level of support. If you need nursing care, the NHS will pay the nursing element of your fees.

More about paying for care and support

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Updated: 04 October 2021

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