Care homes and nursing homes
Most people will never need residential care, but those who do usually have to pay their own care costs. There is a range of ways to reduce the risk of needing costly care services, including:
- strength and balance exercises to Stay Stronger for Longer
- avoiding trips and falls
- using equipment and technology
- finding suitable housing - find out more about Housing Options for Older People (HOOP)
There are many care homes across Cambridgeshire and all are different. Some may have hundreds of bedrooms and specialised areas for people with dementia. Others might house a few people with learning disabilities. Care and support services are not free. Most people will have to pay something towards their own care and some will have to pay for all the costs.
Find out more about paying for care.
If you will be paying for residential care you can choose whichever care home can meet your needs.
If we will be paying or contributing to your fees, the home you choose must:
- meet the needs we identified during your assessment
- follow our terms and conditions
- cost less per week than our cap, unless someone else will be making top-up payments on your behalf
To find a care home which suits your need, think about:
- location – is it in an area you like, countryside, or city, and is it convenient for friends and family to get to visit?
- would you prefer a larger, busier home, where you can meet lots of people, or a smaller quieter home?
- would you like a home with a structured day, or one which is more relaxed?
- is it important to have your own room, and would you want an en suite?
- what other things are important to you to be able to feel at home?
Drawing up a list of potential care homes
You can find out about care homes in your area by:
- reading the Guide to Independent Living and searching for local providers at the Care Choices Guide to Independent Living
- asking friends and family for recommendations
- looking in the telephone directory or online directories
- The Elderly Accommodation Counsel website
- organisations which specialise in long-term conditions may be able to help. For example Parkinsons UK or the Alzheimers' Society.
You can make a list of care homes which might meet your needs. You can contact care homes to find out more information and visit those which sound suitable.
All care homes must produce a brochure including details of facilities, and services.
You can visit care homes to get a better feel for whether they are right for you. Some homes will let you stay all day, others will take people on a trial basis.
You could turn up unannounced to see what life is really like there.
Try to take a list of questions with you when you visit.
Age UK has produced a checklist of things to ask care homes. You can print this out and take it with you.
Some of the things you should look out for are:
- what are your first impressions?
- do residents look clean, and happy?
- is the home clean, safe and spacious?
- do bedrooms meet your needs?
- are residents allowed to bring their own furniture and/or personal items?
- can you choose when to get up and go to bed?
- can they meet your dietary requirements?
- what are communal areas like?
- does the home organise trips out?
- are staff friendly and welcoming, including the manager?
Don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions, including about the level of care, the fees and if there is a waiting list. Try to visit a few care homes so you can compare them.
Please note - the cost of residential or nursing home care can increase each year.
It is important to check the quality of residential homes. Residential homes must meet national standards.
The Care Quality Commission (CQC)
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the independent regulator of health and social care services in England.
The CQC assesses whether care homes are:
NHS Choices has information on care agencies, care homes, nursing homes, Shared Lives and assisted living schemes. There are also links to the CQC reports.
Your Care Home Advisor
Your Care Home Advisor allows you to search for care homes, and find out how they are rated by the Care Quality Commission, NHS Choices, Your Care Rating, Food Standards Agency and the Health & Safety Executive.
If you have any concerns about your care service, please contact your Key Worker.
If you do not have contact details for a Key Worker, you can contact adult services:
Telephone: 0345 045 5202
9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday