How to Pay for Residential Care and Nursing Home Placements

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How to Pay for Nursing Home Placements discussed by Bristol Care Homes

If you are thinking about a Residential Care or Nursing Home for either yourself or your loved one then there are lots of different ways of going about it as well as lots of support to help you decide if its the right thing for you or your family member, as well as if it will work out financially for you.

You may have come to the point where living at home on your own is becoming too difficult and you need some help with daily activities like washing dressing cooking or it may just be you are feeling lonely and moving into a care or nursing home will give you some company and different social activities to take part in as well as support with daily activities.

When would you consider a Residential Care or Nursing Home?

Residential Care and Nursing Homes will reduce the stress of looking after yourself as well as family members and friends who are trying to support and look after you. It is often a huge relief for everyone involved knowing the person they love is being looked after and cared for by professionals who have the knowledge and understanding of caring for others.

  • If you, a family member or friend are struggling to live alone and now need more help to get up on your own, wash, cook, get into bed, cleaning, washing your clothes and taking medicine, even with help from friends, family or carers then a residential care or nursing home may be the best option
  • If you need support with managing everyday tasks
  • If you are feeling lonely and would love to have frequent interaction with others and take part in social activities
  • If a needs care assessment has been completed which suggests a care or nursing home is the best option for you now
  • If you have a complex medical condition or one that is progressing that needs specialist medical help day and, or night

Who carries out a care need assessment and how do you arrange one?

The adult social services department of your local council will arrange for a specialist team to come out to your home and complete a care needs assessment. There is no cost associated with an assessment and anyone is entitled to one if they need support with everyday living, regardless of their income and savings.

A care need assessment will also establish if there are other ways of supporting you without the need for you to move into a residential care or nursing home. Some people will be worried about moving out of their home as they feel they will lose their identity and independence but residential care and nursing homes are experts in ensuring each of their residents retains their independence, regains their confidence and enjoys living with them as they understand this is crucial to a person’s mental and physical health.

What are the other options to consider if you want to stay in your own home?

  • Adapting yours or your loved one’s home by adding; stairlifts, handrails, walk-in showers, slopes rather than steps at your front and, or back doors and adding additional security
  • Supplying household equipment which will aid cooking, cleaning and getting dressed
  • Emergency button for you to use if you need someone to get to you quickly, maybe if you have had a fall, you have hurt yourself, feel unwell or can’t get out of bed at any time
  • Hiring a carer to come into your home once or twice a day to help with you managing everyday tasks and offer some company
  • Moving into supported living serviced accommodation (extra care housing, supported living or retirement properties) which have onsite staff that offer varying levels of support

In some cases adapting your home won’t be enough to ensure you or your loved one are safe, secure and happy so moving into a residential care or nursing home may be the option you need to consider. A residential care or nursing home not only supports your everyday living but they provide you with nutritious and varied meals each day, social interaction with staff and other residents as well as fun and engaging social activities that you can choose to join in with or not.

What is the difference between a Residential Care and a Nursing Home?

There are 2 main types of care home:

  • Residential Nursing Homes
  • Nursing Homes

There are care homes that offer both residential and nursing care places and when you are making a decision this is often something to consider as if you do need a nursing home at any point you won’t have the upheaval and daunting prospect of moving again.

Residential Care and Nursing Homes can be run by local councils, private companies, voluntary or charity organisations.

Residential Nursing Homes provide accommodation and daily personal care to suit your needs, including:

  • Getting up and getting to bed
  • Washing
  • Dressing
  • Toileting
  • Meals including any dietary requirements
  • Taking medicines
  • Supervision of medicines

Nursing Homes provide personal care as well as always having one or more qualified nurses on duty that have the knowledge, experience and qualifications to provide medical care as well if a resident has more complicated medical needs.

Nursing Homes provide accommodation, daily personal care and nursing care to suit your needs, including:

  • Getting up and getting to bed
  • Washing
  • Dressing
  • Toileting
  • Meals including any dietary requirements
  • Taking of medicines
  • Supervision of medicines
  • Administrating of medicine including injections and pain relief
  • Dressing changes & sore care
  • Peg feeding
  • General nursing care activities

Some nursing homes offer services for people that may need more care and support including:

  • Severe learning disabilities
  • Severe physical disabilities or both
  • Complex medical conditions that need help from a qualified nurse

How much do Residential Care and Nursing Home Placements Cost?

Nursing homes will normally cost more than a residential nursing home as they provide nursing and medical care as part of their service.

The costs will vary depending on different factors; the level of care needed, the CQC ratings, the food and menu options, activities within the home, the type of room and facilities and much more. The average costs in the UK are:

  • £600 a week for a residential home
  • £800 a week for a nursing home

Funding the cost of a residential care or nursing home yourself is daunting but there are options available to you and lots of support that will help guide you through the process.

How do you Pay for Residential Care and Nursing Home Placements?

When considering a residential care or nursing home you should explore all options and ask your local authority to carry out a needs care assessment.

When this has been completed your local council will have a specialist care team that will help you look into and consider all of your options.

Paying/Self Funding your own Residential Care and Nursing Home Placement

If you can afford it you can choose to pay for your own care placement yourself and this means a financial assessment will not be carried out

Financial Support for Residential Care and Nursing Home Placements

There is financial support available for Residential Care and Nursing Home Placements from your local council.

The first step in the process of this is to contact the adult social services department of your local council by telephone or email and they will arrange for a specialist team to come out and complete a care needs assessment to assess how you are living, what you are having difficulty with and what could be put in place to help you.

Financial support for residential care and nursing homes varies by individual and is decided using a formal and consistent process to assess a person’s finances.

How do finances and property affect Residential Care or Nursing Home’ Fees?

After a care needs assessment has been carried out and it confirms a residential care or nursing home place is needed, a means assessment is then carried out. This will take into account the value of any owned property as well as income and savings.

A means test for social care looks at the capital (savings and property) and how this will affect any care placement fees:

  • Over £23,250 – you must pay full fees (known as being self-funding)
  • Between £14,250 and £23,250, – the local council will fund some of the care and you will make up the difference
  • Less than £14,250 – this will be ignored and won’t be included in the means test and the local council will pay for the care. However, they will still take your eligible income into account

Important Things to Remember

It is really important not to sell your home or give notice on a rented property before the full process has been completed as this may leave you without anywhere to live. Any property sold or transferred to another person can be taken into consideration when the finances are reviewed.

The process doesn’t look at your family’s finances when you are assessed. If your family decides to help pay towards the cost of a residential care or nursing home this can be added to the money the council gives you and this is known as a top-up fee. This enables you to live in a residential care or nursing home which costs more than the council will pay and often gives you more options. However, always remember, if there is a time when your family is no longer able to top up the council payment then you may be required to move out of the care home you have moved into, so it’s really important to always think and plan for the long term when you are making decisions.

If you need advice about a financial assessment or financing a care home yourself, you can call the following support services:

FirstStop Advice on 0800 377 7070 (for older people)
The Society of Later Life Advisors (SOLLA) on 0333 2020 454 (for older people)
The Money Advice Service on 0800 138 7777 (for all ages)

Finding Residential Care and Nursing Home Placements?

Finding the best residential care or nursing home for you or your loved one will ensure they are happy, settled and contented and means they won’t need to move again which causes stress, upset and upheaval for them and you.

Personal recommendations are often the best way to find the best residential care or nursing home placement for you or your loved one. You will often get honest recommendations from local online chats and Facebook pages and these are good as long as you use the other tools available and take into consideration the facts as well. You can also search for residential care and nursing homes using CareHomeAdvisor. Care Home Advisor is an independent website that enables you to search for residential care and nursing homes in your area to find out how they are rated by the Care Quality Commission, NHS Choices, Your Care Rating, Food Standards Agency and the Health and Safety Executive. It helps you to clearly understand who the best care providers are in your area so you can make an informed decision when you start your search.

Placement into residential care or nursing home can sometimes be as a result of an emergency with decisions needing to be made quickly, so having access to all the acts, in one place using an independent resource can give you essential and informed advice and this is what CareHomeAdvisor offers.

What is the Care Quality Commission?

The Care Quality Commission is an important organisation that ensures that our health and social care services in the UK are safe, effective and compassionate and that they provide high-quality care to their patients. In summary, the Quality Care Commission (CQC) is the independent regulator of health and social care in England.

Their purpose is to make sure health and social care services provide people with safe, effective, compassionate and high-quality care by monitoring, inspecting and regulating health and social care services, encouraging care services to improve. They publish what they find which includes ratings to help people choose their care service supplier.

What does the Care Quality Commission do?

  • Register care providers
  • Monitor, inspect and rate care services
  • Take action to protect people who use care services
  • Speak independently and publish views on major quality issues in health and social care
  • Protect the rights of vulnerable people, including those restricted under the Mental Health Act.
  • Listen to and act on resident, family and staff experiences.
  • Involve the public and people who receive care
  • Work with other organisations and public groups.

What are the values of the Care Quality Commission?

  • Excellence – being a high-performing organisation
  • Caring – treating everyone with dignity and respect
  • Integrity – doing the right thing
  • Teamwork – learning from each other to be the best we can

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) Inspection Ratings

  • Outstanding
  • Good
  • Requires improvement
  • Inadequate

Choosing a Residential Care or Nursing Home

Deciding that you or your family member needs to go into a residential care or nursing home is extremely difficult and stressful but there are some really important things to consider and do when you are making this decision, and one of these should be the Care Quality Commission Inspection Ratings.

After the care needs assessment has been completed if the outcome is that the council will pay for the residential care or nursing home then a plan is provided by the council to let you know the options available to you, which care homes you can choose also providing you with information from the care plan which will help you decide which home best meets your requirements.

You are able to choose which residential care or nursing home you want to move into but the council has to agree and will check:

  • It meets the needs identified in your care needs assessment
  • It is not more expensive than other suitable residential care or nursing homes

It’s really important to do your research on the homes that are suitable for you or your loved one using the Care Quality Commission (CQC) reports and ratings as well as using CareHomeAdvisor.

Deciding on a Residential Care or Nursing Home

You should visit a Residential Care or Nursing Home before you make any commitment and our advice would be to visit a few to start with and then any you like, visit them again, spend a day, an afternoon or request an overnight stay there. There are important things you should check before you visit any care home:

  • Ensure the care home provides the level of care your loved one needs now or could need in the future
  • Check if the care home currently has any vacancies and if not ask them how long their waiting list is. If there is a waiting list this is often a good sign and shows it is a sought after nursing home, however, this does depend on how urgently you need the placement
  • Read the care home’s brochure and have a thorough look at their website before you arrange a visit, this will help you think of the questions you will need to ask
  • Call and speak to the home, this will give you a good first impression and an opportunity to ask any questions you may have before you decide if you want to visit them
  • Read the most recent inspection report for the home. You can ask the home for it and look for it on the CQC website

Visit a couple of suitable homes in your area and have a look around their different social areas and bedrooms, talk to the residents and staff as this will tell you a lot. Before you go you should make a list of questions to make sure you find out everything you need to when you are there. It’s easy to forget things when you are there and preparing beforehand will help you make a well-informed decision. A good and professional care home will want you to spend time with them and will want to ensure you are comfortable with what and how they do things, and if not then this probably isn’t the right care home for your loved one.

First Impressions are really important when you first visit a care home.

  • Look to see that the building and gardens are well maintained and if not then this probably isn’t a good sign
  • Check there is an easily accessible garden
  • Think about how the home felt when you first walked in, did it feel welcoming and inviting
  • Is the home in a nice location with good surroundings and local to family members and friends to visit
  • Staff welcoming and talking to you when you are walking visiting is a good sign and observe how they interact with the residents
  • Take note of the cleanliness of the home and if it smells fresh in all of the areas and rooms
  • Is the temperature in the home comfortable in both the social areas and residents rooms
  • Look to see how the home and rooms are decorated and if it feels fresh and well maintained

Things to Consider when Choosing a Residential Care or Nursing Home

  • Its location – is it easy for friends and family to visit regularly?
  • Do they have specific visiting times and days and is there a restriction to the number of visitors that can come to the care home at one time?
  • How much does it cost and does it fit with your financial situation or with the funding the council has agreed?
  • Do they offer the care and or medical services you need?
  • Social activities are vital for a happy and relaxed care home where there are both opportunities to take part in different activities as well as relax and have your own space. Are there lots of social activities available for you to take part in and are they things you would want to do? Gardening, Exercise, Cooking, Singing, Sewing, Celebrations for Special Occasions – Birthdays, Visits from Entertainers,  Outings to Shops, Entertainment Venues or Places of Worship etc.
  • If able to, do they allow you to leave the home on your own or with relatives?
  • What menu options are there (including snacks) and are the meals cooked on-site or brought in. Are there good quality food choices and options where you can eat your meals (with others or in your room)
  • What do the gardens and overall facilities look like?
  • Care home staff will often give you a true reflection and insight into a home, they will have a huge influence on the atmosphere of the home, how the residents feel as well as the level of personal care and support the residents receive. Are the staff sat with residents talking to them, or do they all seem to be rushing about doing jobs?
  • How do they assess each resident’s individual care needs and situation before they offer them a place?
  • Does each resident have a named carer who oversees their care?
  • How does the home interact with the residents family, what are their processes with the residents and families when decisions need to be made about their care?
  • Are there lots of resources for the residents, books, magazines, games, TV’s, phones and computers etc.?
  • Does the home have a hairdresser come to them regularly?
  • Do the rooms all have a TV, a DVD, a phone and internet access where the residents can relax in their own space when they want to?
  • Are the rooms spacious and well decorated with a homely feel, rather than a sterile hospital feel?
  • Is there an emergency call button in each residents room, in the main bathrooms and around the social areas of the home?
  • What security systems does the care home have?
  • Always ensure you are very clear about a care homes contract, what is included, excluded and you are comfortable with it before you make any commitments.

A care home should feel relaxed, informal and comfortable. They should feel like a home and a happy place to be for every resident. When you have visited a few care homes you will start to get a feel for the one or ones you prefer and if you have asked the above questions you will have information to compare. Go back several times and also go back and visit without prior arrangement so you can see them in their true light. When you are near to making a decision arrange for your loved one to go in for an afternoon, a day and maybe overnight to see how they feel about it.

Read our full article on What Makes the Best Care Home here which will give you all the information you need when choosing the right residential care or nursing home.

About Bristol Care Homes

Bristol Care Homes is an independently owned group of 4 high-quality care homes in Bristol. Our dedicated team provides quality and caring services every day and our founding vision is to provide excellence in all aspects of care for all our residents.

We are innovative in our services and we offer many features to help you or your loved one to maintain a high level of fulfilment and independence in each of our care homes. Many of our services are unique to Bristol Care Homes and all include:

  • Beautiful gardens with open spaces with lots of greenery, trees and flowers and places to sit
  • Environmentally designed buildings with 24/7 air circulation always keeping the atmosphere fresh and airy
  • Spacious rooms with increased ceiling height give the feel of openness
  • Wide corridors for ease of access
  • Television, DVD Player and direct line telephones in every room
  • Internet access in residents rooms
  • Customised, quality wheelchairs are provided when needed
  • High technology baths and walk-in showers
  • Minibus services with a regular schedule of trips
  • Regular maintenance and replacement cycles with new carpets and decoration
  • Top Quality chefs producing tasty, varied and nutritious meals
  • Interesting and stimulating social activities for all our residents
  • Warm, friendly and caring staff who get to know each resident and take time with them every day to ensure they are happy and fulfilled
  • Nurses on duty 24 hours a day, 365 days a year

Our expert value for money services lead the way in care home provision and this shows in our Care Quality Commission Ratings and our resident’s feedback:

Glebe House – Outstanding Glebe House Care Home Bristol CQC

Beech House – Outstanding Beech House Care Home Bristol CQC

Field House – Good Field House Care Home Bristol CQC

Quarry House – Good Quarry House Care Home Bristol CQC

Contact us today to find out more about our us, the services we offer and how we can help you find the Residential Care and Nursing Home Placement for you or your loved one in Bristol.

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