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Types Of Care Homes

April 3rd, 2024

Understanding the various types of care homes available and the types of care services on offer is crucial when looking into care homes for the elderly. An NHS care assessment will go some way towards determining the level of care you require. However, doing your own homework, and knowing exactly what the different types of care homes provide, will give you the information you need to make the best choice

What Is A Care Home

A care home is a place for elderly people to live that provides accommodation, care and support to residents. Different types of care homes offer different levels of support according to the needs of residents. The simplest types of care homes will help seniors with personal care, including washing and dressing. The next level up from this will support more advanced needs, such as managing medication or end-of-life care. There are, therefore, different types of nursing homes tailored to these individual needs.

Regardless of the specific types of care services, most care homes include scheduled activities to encourage social interaction. Care homes for the elderly also take care of all meals, have interiors designed to make life easier for senior residents, and encourage visits from family and friends all year round. 

Benefits Of Care Homes For The Elderly

An elderly man relaxing on a couch at a care home.

There are several different types of care homes in the UK, but the one thing they all have in common is that they exist to make life easier and better for their residents. These are some of the benefits to consider when thinking about the move into a care home:

  • Safety – Care homes have staff on hand at all times. Living in a safe, purpose-built environment reduces the likelihood of accidents and provides the reassurance that should something happen, there is immediate help at hand
  • Socialisation – Loneliness can be common in elderly people. All types of care settings allow opportunities to interact and socialise with many different people, be it staff, other residents or visitors 
  • Mealtimes – All senior residents get healthy and nutritious meals at regular times throughout the day. This makes sure they are eating properly, and have their dietary requirements carefully catered for
  • Peace Of Mind – If you are worried about an elderly person, knowing they are well looked after in a care home comes with a huge sense of relief 
  • Cleanliness – Care homes for the elderly are warm, well-maintained places so residents no longer have to worry about cleaning or looking after a home if they are no longer able to do so. Personal hygiene is also taken care of if this is something that has become harder to manage independently
  • Privacy – All types of care homes should offer private bedrooms and many have en-suite bathroom facilities too. Residents can also personalise their bedrooms to make them feel more like home
  • Healthcare – Care home staff manage medication for residents, and for those with serious healthcare concerns, there are several types of nursing homes with medical professionals on site to deliver individualised healthcare
  • Staying Active – There are always activities and events happening in care homes to encourage residents to remain active or enjoy hobbies

Different Types Of Care Homes

woman making a list about types of care services in a notepad

When discussing different types of care homes in the UK, people primarily refer to residential care homes or nursing homes. While these are the main two types of care settings, there are nuances within each. For example, different types of nursing homes help to manage specific conditions or stages of an illness. These are some of the types of care homes available and what each one offers:

Residential Care Homes

Residential care homes are one of the most common types of care homes. This is because they are designed for individuals who need assistance with daily activities but do not require an intensive level of medical care and still have some independence. Seniors living in residential care homes typically have private rooms and enjoy a home-like environment and enriching living experience. There are staff available to support seniors with tasks such as bathing, dressing, and medication management for those who need it.

Nursing Homes

Nursing homes are for individuals with more complex medical needs, and offer 24-hour skilled nursing care. Trained staff administer the same level of personal care as found in a residential care home, but there are also medical professionals, including registered nurses, on site to deliver tailored care for chronic illnesses, post-surgery recovery, or disabilities. Nursing homes often have rehabilitation services and medical equipment available.

Dementia Care

A dementia care home is one of the types of nursing homes that has specialist care provisions. Residents living in a dementia care home will have individual needs that will require highly skilled care. A dementia care home environment is designed to ensure that residents are safe, mentally stimulated, and have structured routines. This helps them to maintain a sense of familiarity where possible, and enhances their quality of life. 

Respite Care

Respite care is a temporary care option and the length of stay can vary. Care homes for the elderly offer respite care so caregivers can take a break and attend to their own needs, while ensuring their loved one receives quality care. Respite care can be in a residential care home or in a nursing home depending on the types of care services required. 

Palliative Care

Palliative care might also be known as end-of-life care. It is for individuals with a terminal illness and focuses on managing pain and ensuring comfort in a supportive environment. The stages of palliative care also include emotional and spiritual support for both the individual and their family. 

Dual Registered 

Dual registered care homes are care homes that have more than one of the types of care services available on site. Some care homes have residential, nursing, dementia and respite care all in the same facility. This can help enormously when looking at care home locations. You are not limited by the different types of care settings, but can choose a home you like safe in the knowledge it has the level of support you need, both now and in the future. It can also mean you are able to choose a care home for couples who have differing care needs.

Alternatives To Care Homes For The Elderly

elderly man and carer in a care home

If a care home doesn’t yet seem like the right option, there are some alternatives to care homes for the elderly. Many people choose to care for an elderly parent themselves. This could mean moving them into your home or arranging scheduled visits with other relatives so that your loved one can stay in their own house for longer. An offshoot of this is to employ a home carer. Home carers can provide different types of care services. This can even include live-in care if necessary.

For seniors who still enjoy their independence but recognise that they may need to scale back, retirement homes are often the next logical step. Retirement homes allow seniors to downsize, giving them more time to relax and enjoy retirement. Just as there are different types of nursing homes, there are different types of retirement homes too. Assisted living facilities, for example, bridge the gap between living independently and living in a care home. Assisted living usually means having a self-contained flat, with staff on hand up to 24 hours per day to provide personal care and support services. This could be for simple tasks such as laundry or food shopping, or help with hygiene and meals. 

Many seniors wish to retain their independence for as long as possible, and these alternatives can, therefore, be a stepping stone before the time comes to consider types of care homes.    

Care Services From New Care Homes 

New Care Homes are dual-registered care facilities offering several types of care services in purpose-built, luxury care homes across the UK. Our staff receive ongoing training to consistently deliver quality, expert-led care to all of our residents. Find out more about the different types of care homes we have, and arrange a visit to any of our locations by contacting us today.