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Care homes

You may need to consider moving to a care home if you:

Choosing a care home

When choosing a care home, it is important to find a home that is going to provide the right level of care to meet your needs.

The types of care homes are:

  • residential care homes provide 24-hour help with personal care such as eating, washing and taking medication; residents can still get healthcare from GPs and district nurses as they would if they were at home
  • nursing care homes are for people with more complex needs who need regular medical attention; nursing care is provided 24-hours a day
  • dual-registered care homes offering both residential and nursing care
  • specialist care homes for people with dementia, people with learning disabilities and people with mental health problems

Some care homes also offer short-term placements. For example, if you're recovering from an illness, a hospital stay, or to give your carer a break (known as 'respite care').

Finding a care home

Finding a care home that's right for you or your loved one can be daunting. Here's where you can get advice to help you get started.

Care homes are run by private companies, councils and voluntary organisations. They must all register with the Care Quality Commission (CQC). Visit CQC to search for local care homes, see their latest inspection reports and service rating.

For more information and advice, read CQCs guide on what can you expect from a good care home?

Healthwatch offers independent advice on health and social care service. Read their guide on five steps to follow when choosing a care home.

Age UK offers advice on finding a care home.

Get a care needs assessment

If you're considering a care home for yourself or for a loved one, contact Essex County Council (ECC) for a chat about your care needs. They will look at the best option to meet your care and support needs.

Paying for a care home

If you're assessed to have eligible care needs, ECC will carry out a financial assessment to work out if you need to pay for your care home costs or if you're eligible for financial support.

Most people have to pay something towards their care and support. How much you pay depends on your income and assets. Visit ECC for more information on paying for a care home.

Paying for yourself (self-funding)

If you're not eligible for financial support from ECC, you will have to pay the full cost of your care home fees. 

It is a good idea to talk to an independent financial expert to get accurate and impartial advice. ECC has a list of organisations that offer independent financial advice.

Even if you're paying for your own care home fees, you can still get advice and request a care needs assessment from ECC. You may be eligible for NHS-funded healthcare, or continuing healthcare.

Self-funders are also eligible for Attendance Allowance. Visit GOV.UK for more on Attendance Allowance including who's eligible and how to claim.

Related content

Staying in your own home

Paying for care

Money and debt

Benefits help

Deprivation of liberty

Looking after someone's affairs

Report a concern about an adult

NHS continuing healthcare and NHS-funded nursing care

Healthwatch Essex: give feedback about a service, or find information 

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