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Residential and nursing care

You, or your relative, may be thinking about a care home because you have gradually found it more difficult to manage at home, or because an illness or accident has affected your ability to live independently.

Sometimes, after a period of ill health, a stay at a specialist assessment and reablement service can give you the skills and confidence to manage at home, perhaps with domiciliary and health care support, rather than moving to long-term residential care.


Before you make the decision to move to a care home, you, your carer or a relative should ask Social Services for an assessment of your care needs. Knowing what sort of care and support you need will help you to choose a care home which is right for you. Or there may be support that can be provided for you in your own home that could help you to continue to live there rather than move. There is no charge for an assessment, and you can have one even if you know you would not be eligible for financial help from Social Services. If you are requesting financial support from the local authority for long-term residential care, a stay in an assessment unit may form part of the assessment process.

Do I need a residential or nursing home?

Residential care homes offer help with personal care, along with services such as laundry and meals. Some homes offer short-term or respite stays but normally they provide long-term or permanent care.

If your illness or disability means you need regular nursing care, and this cannot be given in your own home, you may need to move to a care home with nursing. Nursing staff will be available 24 hours a day in a nursing home.

Choosing a care home

The care home most suitable for you will depend on the amount and type of care that you need.

Paying for residential care

How much you will have to pay for residential care depends on your income, savings and other assets.

Domiciliary care agencies

Information about domiciliary care provided through other agencies.

Search for advice and support

We have provided a list of local and national organisations which could offer you further advice and support.