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. See our getting help early section for information and guidance about services that could support you to stay in your own home. There are also 'extra-care' or warden-controlled housing schemes available that could offer a less costly alternative to moving into a care home.
If you find that your care and support needs can no longer be met at home and you've considered all other options, you might look at moving into a care home. You should get a social care assessment to help determine whether your needs meet the criteria for living in a care home. We can tell you about other services that may help you remain living in your own home if your social care assessment tells us a care home isn’t the best place to meet your needs.
Our guide to older people’s services also tells you about the care and support services available for older people and their carers. It includes information and contact details for organisations you can get in touch with for further advice and help.
Care homes are not always a long-term solution; they 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 personal care, including help with washing, eating, drinking, going to the toilet and taking medication
- 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 Care Quality Commission website.
Choosing a care home
When choosing a care home, one of the first things you should consider is whether you need it to provide nursing care or personal care. Remember, if you decide on a residential care home that doesn't provide nursing care, you may need to move if your needs change.
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 living apart.
- look at the activities and trips outside the home that are available.
- 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 website.
Help from us to pay for a care home
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 circumstances (see our paying for your care webpage). This is to work out whether you have enough income and savings to pay, or if you need us to contribute towards your care. You can use our online contribution calculator to estimate how much you may need to pay. Read more about paying for a care home.
If you don't want a financial assessment, you can make arrangements yourself. This will mean that you're self-funding; ie paying for your own care. Find out about arranging and paying for your own support.