Introduction to care homes

Woman in a care home, smiling as she chats to a carer. 

If you think that you need more personal care than sheltered housing can give you, moving into a care home could be an option.

Moving to a care home may seem like a big step, but they can offer the opportunity to form new friendships and provide a safe, comfortable place to live.

Care homes are staffed 24 hours a day and all meals are provided. Care homes sometimes provide nursing care too, so make sure what levels of care are provided before you move.

How you pay for a care home depends on your personal situation. Your local council may be able to pay all or part of your fees if your capital and savings are below a certain limit.

Types of care homes

There are two main types of care home:

  • Some offer accommodation and help with personal care – activities such as washing, dressing and going to the toilet
  • Others provide those services and also offer nursing care

Until recently these two types of care home were classified as ‘residential homes’ and ‘nursing homes’. The names of many homes still reflect this.

There are also care homes for those who require extra care and support, often due to dementia.

Age NI Advice Line:
0808 808 7575

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