What kind of home?

There are various kinds of care home, each of which caters for different needs of its residents.

What kind of home?

The three main types are:

  • Registered Care Homes
  • Registered Nursing Homes
  • Specialist care homes and units catering for people with special needs, such as those with dementia

Care homes are very diverse. Some, often the larger ones, are run by major companies, whilst others are small, independent organisations and individuals. The size of a home can vary considerably, from a small converted dwelling with half a dozen bedrooms to a purpose designed property, specifically built to meet care needs.

Back to topRegistered care homes

A care home provides a residential environment for older people who require support for their personal care, such as help with washing or dressing. They usually provide care staff that are available 24 hours a day and are managed by local authorities, voluntary organisations, private companies and individuals.

If you are unable to live in your own home, a residential care home will provide support to help you to live as independently as possible but in a safe, secure environment and will give your family and friends the assurance of knowing you have access to any personal care needs when required.

Back to topNursing homes

A nursing home, as distinct from a residential care home, provides services to meet care needs which require the specific skills of a qualified nurse or the supervision of a qualified nurse.

For example, your health may have deteriorated to the point where you need constant nursing care, such as administration of medication by injection, specialist feeding requirements, or chronic disease requiring specialist nursing care.

Back to topDementia care

For those individuals with symptoms of dementia, and unable to care for themselves or be cared for buy other means, a care home registered to care for dementia payments may be considered. These will have specialist staff with specialist training in caring for residents whose needs result from dementia.

Typically, the home environment will include appropriate therapies to support such individuals and may include a reminiscence room to encourage residents to remember and talk about their past experiences in life using familiar objects from past times.

Back to topOther specialist homes

A number of homes specialise in supporting individuals with forms of sensory loss such as a visual and/or hearing impairment. In these cases, in addition to the normal care environment, additional support may be provided by e.g. a library of Braille books, large print books and audio described films.

Back to topRegistration and regulation

The government has published minimum acceptable standards which all homes, large or small, must meet (although many exceed these standards).

Residential care homes and nursing homes are inspected and regulated by the Care Quality Commission to ensure minimum standards are met. Local Authorities and Primary Care Trusts may also have contact with the homes through reviews they carry out with residents.

  • Care Quality Commission
    The CQC has registered over 18,000 care homes and publishes all its inspection reports on its website. These reports indicate for each home whether national standards are being met.
  • Care Choices Essex
    Founded in 1993, Care Choices is a leading publisher of care information and produces many of the official care directories for local authorities and councils. This weblink provides comprehensive details of both corporate and individual providers of residential care homes in Essex and the services they provide within their homes.
  • Alzheimers Society
    One of the specialist charities which provides advice and support to people with dementia and their families, including advice on supporting individuals within a care home environment.

Further links

Our own online index page of useful links to a summary of support organisations.