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Types of care home

There are several different types of care home to consider, along with alternatives to care homes. Look into all the options, seek advice, and make the right decision for you.

What types of care home are available?

While all care homes offer accommodation and personal care, there are specialist types of care home that offer additional services for residents with greater needs. Care homes can be run by private companies, local councils or voluntary organisations.

Type of care home

What they offer

Care homes

Provide with personal care, such as washing, dressing, taking medication and going to the toilet. They may also offer social activities such as day trips or outings.

Nursing homes

Provide personal care as well as assistance from qualified nurses. Sometimes called care homes with nursing.

Care homes with dementia care

Designed to make people with dementia feel comfortable and safe.

Dual-registered care homes Accept residents who need both personal care and nursing care. This means that someone who initially just needs personal care but later needs nursing care won’t have to change homes.

Do I actually need a care home?

Someone may have suggested to you that you need a care home - perhaps because you've had an accident or you're starting to need more help day to day.

That doesn't mean it's the right decision for you, and you might find another option suits you better. Remember, it's your decision so look into all the options and don't be afraid to ask for help.

Some of the other options may be:

The Elderly Accommodation Counsel’s website provides a directory which gives a range of housing options, including retirement and sheltered housing.

Where do I start in arranging care?

The first step to getting care, whether you need home adaptations, home care or a care home place, is to get a care needs assessment from your local council.

We're here to help

We offer support through our free advice line on 0800 678 1602. Lines are open 8am-7pm, 365 days a year. We also have specialist advisers at over 140 local Age UKs.

Please help us be there for older people in need

By donating today, you could help us answer more calls to our advice line, campaign harder for older people’s rights and fair treatment and provide regular friendship calls to people who are desperately lonely.

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Last updated: Apr 28 2022

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