Residential and nursing care homes

Residential care homes

Residential homes are for people over the age of 18 who are no longer able to live independently in their own home due to frailty, illness, physical disability, learning disability, sight loss or hearing loss.

You may need to go into residential care if you can no longer manage in your own home. Services you should expect in residential care include:

  • meals and accommodation
  • help with personal care like bathing and dressing
  • staff available 24 hours a day
  • physical and emotional care
  • care through short illnesses

There are no on-site nursing staff but a district nurse or other NHS staff may visit and support you, if needed. Residents have their own room but the rest of the facilities are communal.

Sometimes residential homes can offer short-term places for people recovering from a hospital stay or illness, or so their carer can take a break, if those needs cannot be met in the community.

Living in a residential home

You would normally have your own bedroom, but other facilities such as bathrooms and living rooms are usually shared with the other residents. Residential homes can differ from place to place, however, offering different services or types of accommodation – for example, with your own bathroom or living space. Hot meals are included and there is often entertainment during the day.

Care staff are on hand 24 hours a day to help with personal care, such as getting in and out of bed, washing and using the toilet. Medical needs are met by visits from the district nurse or other NHS staff.

If you need more nursing support than can be provided in these visits, a nursing care home might be better able to support you as they have nurses on site 24 hours a day.

It's important to choose a home that feels comfortable to you, meets your current needs, and can meet your likely future needs so you won't have to move home again if your condition changes – go to choosing a care home.


The costs of residential homes vary, depending on the type of home, the facilities they offer, and level of support you need.

If you want us to arrange a place in a residential home for you, and you need financial support from us to help pay for it, we will help you fill out a form to see if you qualify for financial help.

If you choose a home that charges more than the usual cost we agree, then your family or someone else will have to pay a top-up to cover the difference.