What’s the Difference Between Care Homes and Nursing Homes?
November 16th, 2023
When starting to consider long-term care options for yourself or a loved one, you might question the difference between care homes and nursing homes. The two are often used interchangeably, but there are some key differences that will affect the option you choose. Deciding whether to choose a nursing home or care home will come down to several factors, including cost, level of care and staff training.
Understanding the difference between care homes and nursing homes will help you to make an informed decision, and will aid in the process of narrowing down the nursing home or care home facilities near to you. This guide will explain the differences and provide gentle guidance on which care provision may be the most suitable for you or your family member.
What Is A Care Home?
A care home is the more commonly used term to describe a residential care home. There is no difference between care home and residential care home provisions. A residential care home is a place where seniors move to when they require extra assistance with daily living needs. When living independently or managing personal care becomes more difficult, elderly people can choose to move into a care home where their needs will be met and they will be supported by on-site staff.
Care homes still allow residents a good deal of independence and so is an ideal choice for those who need a little more assistance than a home carer would offer, but still want to do things for themselves and be active and social. A care home environment is organised to encourage residents to move around freely, join in with planned activities and get outside to enjoy things such as gardening or gentle exercise.
Some of the things to expect in a care home include:
Care homes are designed to recreate a homely and comfortable space similar to the households residents are used to. New Care home interiors also feature signage and subtle zoned areas to encourage a natural flow throughout. There are private bedrooms with en-suite facilities too, to make it a relaxing and private place for residents.
Depending on the individual needs of residents, care homes have on-site support for tasks like dressing, bathing and eating. It’s a more basic level of care that, when choosing a nursing home or care home, allows seniors to also look after themselves as much as they are able to, or want to.
Care homes plan activities and events for residents, and have thriving communal areas where people can spend time together. This aspect of a care home is very important, and can help seniors to stay young at heart. With a care home vs nursing home, a care home gives residents more autonomy over the activities they take part in, as those who live in a nursing home may be slightly less able to join in certain things and require more help to do so.
Staff in a care home will help residents with medication, administering the correct dosages at the correct times each day. There may also be some medical professionals on site, but specialised medical care is more limited, and this can be a clear point of difference between care homes and nursing homes.
What Is A Nursing Home?
As you might have concluded by now, a nursing home is a place where residents require more supervision and tailored care. A nursing home is able to provide a higher level of medical attention and is a middle ground between hospital care and the independence of living that’s possible in a care home. Nursing homes usually have a team of healthcare professionals on hand. This can include nurses, doctors and therapists, as well as highly trained and skilled care home staff to tend to daily needs.
The level of care required is often the starting point for deciding whether to move a loved one into a nursing home or care home. Other reasons to opt for a nursing home are:
Round The Clock Care
Caring for an elderly relative can be a 24/7 responsibility. A nursing home takes on this role, offering monitoring and supervision day and night from dedicated care staff.
By its very nature, a nursing home means that there are nursing staff available to manage medical procedures, such as wound care, medication management and IV therapy. A care plan will detail the exact care needed by each resident, so that nursing staff can ensure they get the medical care they need.
Nursing homes have medical equipment and supplies that help to make residents’ lives more comfortable. Equipment like oxygen masks, mobility aids and specialised beds are usually readily available in a nursing home.
To allow for the more specific and attentive care needed, there are often more staff available in a nursing home than in a care home. A nursing home or care home will always have an adequate staff to resident ratio, but as those in a care home generally need less help, staff levels needn’t be as abundant.
The Difference Between Care Homes and Nursing Homes
As we’ve established with a care home vs nursing home, the difference primarily boils down to the level of care. A nursing home is better suited to those who need round-the-clock care and medical supervision, while a care home is often chosen by those who still want an independent way of living with some help for trickier tasks. This means that the level of staff training is also a difference between care homes and nursing homes. All staff in both types of home will have received in-depth training for their role. However, with a nursing home, the staff will have had medical training to be able to deliver the medical care required.
In light of this, the other main difference between care homes and nursing homes is the cost. A nursing home can have additional costs due to the medical equipment, the number of staff and their qualifications. Any nursing home or care home will be able to tell you the costs so that you can factor this into your decision when choosing a specific nursing home or care home.
Many care homes are dual-registered, meaning they offer both residential care and nursing care. This can be particularly beneficial for couples who want to move into the same home but have different care needs. One partner may only require residential care, while another needs nursing care, but in a dual-registered home they can still live in the same place.
Residential & Nursing Care From New Care Homes
New Care homes has multiple locations across the UK offering both residential care and nursing care to seniors. We offer a high standard of care whether you’re looking for a nursing home or care home, and all of our homes feature luxurious interiors and a host of other features, such as fine dining, hair salons and stunning outdoor spaces.