A guide to Elderly Care - Care Homes Nursing and Living

This is a complete and easy to understand guide to elderly care. It is here to help with one of the most difficult decisions we have to make in our lives – whether to go into a care home or not.

You may be considering this option for you or are the relative of someone who requires nursing care.

We can advise about this and the alternatives to a care home which include help at home, assisted living, retirement housing and sheltered accommodation. We also provide information and advice about another related area – that of paying for care.

Deciding whether to put your elderly mother or father into a care home is a very difficult decision to make. It can be both worrying and stressful and cause a great deal of guilt.

We hope that this guide will help you to make the right choices for you and your parent and goes some way to easing any worries you may have.

Planning for your later years

Most of us will require some form of care in later life and this is likely to increase due to our ageing population. We are living longer than before and even though many people enjoy a healthy and active old age, this isn’t the case for everyone.

There are people who will require help whether that is from a carer in their own home, assisted living or a care home.

Even if you are not classed as officially ‘old’it is a good idea to start thinking about what you may need in the future. You can’t stop yourself from becoming old but there are steps you can take to ensure that you remain active and independent.

If you are planning for later years then our guide has advice on what to consider. This includes following a healthy lifestyle, staying mentally alert and socialising with other people. There is also information about what services are available to you if you need help at home.

Visit our growing older section.

Need help now?

You may be finding it increasingly hard to cope and would like help with shopping, cooking, bathing or doing your laundry. There are a range of services available for this which includes personal care (dressing, toileting), meals on wheels or a home help.

This doesn’t mean that you have to move out of your home: what it does mean is that there is help available which retains your dignity and ensures continuing independence.

Our help at home section contains more information about this.

Care home or assisted living?

If you are at that point where your home is too much for you to manage then you have several options. A care home is one of them but there are alternatives which include:
  • Retirement housing
  • Assisted living
  • Sheltered accommodation

These are all good alternatives which enable you to remain independent but assistance is there if you require it.

Find out more in our other options to a care home section.

If these aren’t appropriate then consider a care home. There are different types of homes which providing a particular type of care and services. These include:

  • Nursing homes
  • Residential homes
  • Specialist care homes

These are discussed in greater detail in our care homes section.

Paying for care

We have all heard or read about cases where someone has to sell their home to pay nursing home fees and this naturally, worries many of us. Paying for nursing care is a complex subject and one that we know concerns people in regard to how they will pay and/or if they can get help from the State.

There is no easy answer to this as everyone’s situation is different but we have provided as much information as possible in order to help you with this decision.

Our paying for elderly caresection contains information on sources of help and care home fees.

We have tried to avoid unnecessary use of jargon in this guide but if it is used then an explanation is provided. Our glossary contains definitions of the more common technical/medical terms used in this guide.

We hope that this guide provides you with all the information and guidance you need when making this very difficult decision. For more help visit our FAQs section which contains a list of the most popularly asked questions about care for the elderly.

Learn more about elderly care

this section looks at common diseases that can affect elderly people, how they are treated and current research into new treatments.

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