Long-term Care and your Rights

Finding the right kind of care home and making sure that you are appropriately cared for?

Finding the right kind of care home can be a pressing problem for the elderly people and their families. Some are able to stay in their homes with the help of the care provided by family members, local health services or voluntary organisations. Others reach a point where physical illness or mental incapacity means they need the kind of long-term care provided by a home for the elderly.

Care homes can be run by the local social service department, non-profit organisations or commercial companies. Social services may contribute towards the costs (although the person receiving the care always has to pay something). To apply for financial assistance, contact your local council’s social services department. Social workers will visit you to assess your care and financial needs.

Types of Care Homes

There are several types of homes for the elderly offering varying levels of care, from sheltered housing ( which has help on hand in case of an emergency) to fully staffed nursing homes.

  • Sheltered (or retirement) Housing

You buy or rent a property in a sheltered housing complex which has a resident warden and an alarm system. All maintenance is provided and various care services are available. Usually, residence is restricted to people above a certain age, say 55.  

These properties can range from small flats to luxurious homes with amenities such as swimming pools or golf courses within the complex. Some are private and others are run by local councils or housing associations. You pay a service charge which varies according to the type of facilities provided.

  • ‘Close Care’ or ‘Extra Care’ Schemes

You buy or rent a property on the same site as a nursing or care home, often with a guarantee that your property will be bought back if you have to move into the residential home. You pay for services such as cleaning and various forms of assistance provided by the home. 

  • Residential Care Homes

These provide meals and help with personal care such as dressing, as well as supervision of medication.

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For more information on:

  • Nursing Homes
  • Complaining about a Care Home
  • Example 
  • Mistreatment by a Carer