choosing the right care solution

choosing the right care solution

Most older people would prefer to stay in their own homes for as long as possible, where they can be independent and in familiar surroundings. However, staying at home may not always be appropriate or practical, at which time other options need to be considered.

The options available are as set out below and your time4care adviser will guide you through the advantages and disadvantages of each, as well as the questions to ask and what to look out for.

Sheltered Housing

Sheltered Housing typically comprises self-contained flats or bungalows within a complex. There is a warden/manager who will keep in regular contact with the residents and will call for help if needed but will not offer day to day assistance. Sheltered Housing is for those who want to remain independent but like to have the security of someone close at hand.

Extra Care Housing

Extra Care Housing is very sheltered housing with a range of additional facilities and support. There is 24 hour care to meet individual care plans with the flexibility to respond to fluctuations in care needs.

Close Care

Close Care (or Very Sheltered Housing) is similar to sheltered housing in that residents retain their independence. However, close care flats/bungalows are situated within the grounds of a care home so care is available if required.

Care Homes (Previously known as Residential Homes)

Good care homes should provide care and security within a comfortable setting. Residents are usually reasonably mobile and can manage most things for themselves. Assistance with personal care is provided. Limited nursing care, if needed, is provided by the District Nurse. Care and community spirit within a care home may vary. In some homes, residents are encouraged to have an active role within the home, to some extent it depends on the type of residents at the home and the attitude of the Matron and her staff.

Each person has their own room, furnished as they wish, often with their own bathroom. It is sometimes possible to have a suite of two or more rooms but this is unusual. Public rooms provide hotel like facilities.

Care Homes with Nursing (Previously known as Nursing Homes)

Care Homes with Nursing provide care for the more infirm elderly. Residents usually require a high level of care and medical attention. The homes are usually bigger than care homes and are often purpose built.

Dual Registered Homes

Some homes have dual registration, which means that they are able to provide both residential and nursing care. The main advantage to this is that if an older person does not need nursing care now but may in the future, there will be no need to face the upheaval of a further move.


Whichever setting is most appropriate to the older person and their individual circumstances, they are advised to view a number of homes and to discuss their requirements with the Matron or Manager. An assessment will be required to ensure that care needs can be met, prior to acceptance into care. The older person should consider their own criteria such as location, accommodation, facilities offered and of course any budgetary constraints.


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