Making the move into a care home is a big step. It's a decision you need to think about very carefully and you should investigate other options beforehand.
Often people go into a care home after a life-changing episode or when they are unable to remain independent within their own home. It’s not always a long-term solution, this can also be beneficial as a respite arrangement to get you back on your feet or give your carer a break.
What care homes offer
A care home provides accommodation with trained staff to look after the people who live there. There are different types of care homes:
- residential care homes - offering support throughout the day and night with things like dressing, washing and at meal times.
- nursing care homes - provide the same support as a residential home, but with nursing staff on site 24 hours a day.
- homes that provide accommodation and nursing specifically for older people with dementia
Some care homes are registered to provide both residential and nursing services, 'dual registered', so you won't need to move if your needs change.
In Barnsley, all of our care homes are run privately. You can find a care home, look at the services provided and read reviews on the website of the Care Quality Commission. You can use the website Live Well Barnsley to find local care homes or read our guide to older people's services.
Choosing a care home
Before you decide to move into a care home, you should have considered other options for your care, including having some support to live at home or looking for an 'extra-care' or warden controlled housing scheme. These are often less costly than living in a care home.
One of the first things to consider when choosing a care home is whether you need it to provide nursing care, or just personal care. If you opt for a residential care home that doesn't provide nursing care, you may need to move if you develop needs that require nursing support.
It's also a good idea to:
- consider the location, is it near family and friends, are there shops and other facilities nearby that you can use?
- find out what time of day your relatives and friends can visit
- ask if the care home can accommodate couples with different needs, to avoid you and your partner having to live apart
- look at the activities and trips outside the home that you can take part in
- check that the home meets any specific dietary, cultural or religious needs that you have
- ask for a short stay, before you decide
- check the most recent care home inspection reports on the website of the Care Quality Commission
- have a look at the latest reviews of care homes on the NHS Choices website.
You can use the website Live Well Barnsley to find local care homes.
Help from us to pay for a care home
You'll need to have a social care assessment to find out if you have needs that meet the criteria for living in a care home. We can tell you about other services that may be able to help you to remain living at home. If your social care assessment determines that a care home is not the best place to meet your needs.
If your social care assessment determines that a care home is the most appropriate place for you to live, we'll do a separate financial assessment of your personal circumstances. This is to work out whether you have enough income and savings to pay for your care yourself or if you need us to contribute towards your care. You can use our online contribution calculator to get an estimate of how much you may need to pay.
If you don't want a financial assessment, you can make your own arrangements to pay for your care. This will mean that you are self funding.