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What Is A Care Home?

April 6th, 2024

If you’ve started to think about care home options for a loved one, you might be wondering what exactly a care home is and what you can expect from care home services. There are several types of care that you can look at, for example, residential care, home care or a retirement home. This guide will answer any questions about ‘what is a care home?’ and ‘what is a residential home?’ and explain the care home services on offer, to help you decide if it’s the right choice for you.

What Is A Care Home? 

eniors holding hands in a care home

A care home is a place where elderly people can move to when they need extra support with day-to-day tasks, including personal care, eating and taking medication. A residential care home is the same as a care home. Care homes are designed for individuals who may be elderly, disabled, or suffering from illnesses that make it harder for them to live independently. 

Care homes have trained and qualified staff on site to provide various levels of care, and support to residents. There are different types of care homes, each offering a different level of care according to residents’ specific needs. These include nursing homes, respite care homes and dementia care homes.  

Who Is A Care Home For?

Care homes are for people who are no longer able to live independently and need help with certain activities. Elderly people who move into residential care homes usually do so when tasks, such as cooking and cleaning, become more difficult, but they still have a good level of independence. A nursing home is for seniors who need additional help and ongoing support with healthcare, for example, those with serious illnesses or issues with mobility. 

Care Home Services

The purpose of a care home is to offer assistance and provide a comfortable living experience for individuals who may have difficulty living independently. Elderly people living in a care home will have access to the following care home services:

Support With Daily Activities

Care home staff are trained to support residents with routine tasks such as bathing, dressing and grooming. Laundry and cleaning is all taken care of and care homes also have restaurants on site to prepare meals for residents and cater for all dietary requirements.

Medical Care

Care homes, and in particular nursing homes, offer round-the-clock medical care. Registered nurses and healthcare professionals are on hand to administer medications, monitor health conditions, and respond to any medical emergencies.

Social Interaction

Social interaction and mental stimulation is incredibly important for residents of a care home. Organised activities and outings help to keep residents engaged, promote a sense of community, and enhance their overall wellbeing.


All residential care homes place an emphasis on safety and security. This includes adaptations within the care home, such as handrails, non-slip flooring and emergency call systems. Care home interiors will also be designed to make it easier for residents to get around independently, with features such as large format signs and colour coded zones. 

Types Of Care Home

elderly person being cared for in a care home

When talking about residential care, there are several different types that come under this umbrella care home definition. These include:

Residential Care Homes – A residential care home is a place for seniors to live that supports with personal care while allowing them to still live as independently as possible

Nursing Homes – Nursing homes have more medicalised care available for elderly people with illness, disabilities or chronic conditions

Respite Care Homes – A respite care home offers short-term and temporary stays; for example, if you are looking after an elderly parent and would like to go on holiday

Dementia Care Homes – Dementia care homes offer specialised care home services for people living with dementia, with staff who are qualified to deliver personalised care and support

Palliative Care Homes – Palliative care is end-of-life care for people with life-limiting illnesses

Anyone living in a residential care home will have a care plan that details the exact support they need, and each care plan will vary according to the type and level of care required. 

Care Home Facilities 

Care homes provide accommodation for elderly people, and assistance with personal care and medication management. All residential care homes will differ in the facilities and amenities available. Every New Care Homes location has luxury interiors and has been purposely designed for seniors. You can expect to find the following facilities:

  • Private bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms
  • Large communal areas
  • Plenty of outdoor space
  • Hair salons
  • Nail bars
  • Fine dining restaurants
  • Wi-Fi 
  • Daily activities and social events

Choosing A Care Home

There are many factors that will go into choosing a care home. You can get help to understand the type of care home services needed by arranging an NHS care needs assessment. When you know which type of care home is best suited for you or your loved one, you can start to weigh up other factors, such as the cost, the location and the amenities. You can find helpful advice and information about individual care homes on the Care Quality Commision (CQC) website. The CQC inspects and rates care homes and care home services, and provides ratings on key areas, such as cleanliness and staffing.

Moving Into A New Care Home 

Moving into a care home can be a big change, and it’s natural to feel tentative about the transition. It’s important to visit the chosen care home before making a decision so that you can make sure it’s ‘the one’. Even when you have settled on a residential care home, you can still visit and continue to ask questions. Becoming familiar with the surroundings and the staff can make the move easier. 

New Care Homes has residential care homes across the UK. Our homes are dual-registered care homes that provide multiple care home services in one setting. All of our homes have been purpose-built and are in convenient locations close to major cities, such as Manchester, Nottingham and Leeds. Contact us to find out more about what our care homes offer, or to book a visit.