There may come a time when the person you are caring for can no longer be looked after at home. The two broad areas of permanent alternatives on offer if this becomes the case are residential or 'rest' homes and nursing homes.
About residential homes
Whilst residential homes do not have nurses on the staff, as their name suggests nursing homes must employ qualified nurses; the nursing care they provide must be available around-the-clock.
Most homes are privately owned by individuals or companies, or provided on a not-for-profit basis by charities or religious organisations.
All care homes are regulated and inspected by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) which aims to improve the quality of care in England.
Community care assessment
All people in need of health and social care should go through a single assessment process to ensure that all their needs are identified, so that the necessary care arrangements can be made.
For more about the care assessment and what it could mean for you and the person you're looking after, you can read this Alzheimer's society information sheet, which includes an overview of the services that an assessment could make you eligible for, and thorough information of the 'ins and outs' of the assessment. Although the information was written specifically about dementia, its content is applicable to anyone seeking both short and long term care for a friend or relative.
This second information sheet, also produced by the Alzheimer's Society, looks more specifically at the financial side of such care, and investigates when it is your local authority's responsibility to pay for the care.
Depending on your circumstances, you may find that domiciliary (home) care is more appropriate for the person you care for. Perhaps, if sufficient care can be arranged for the person you are caring for in their home, they would feel more comfortable looking at this option. Find out more about domiciliary care from your local authority, local carers centre, or via the links on the right, particularly the United Kingdom Home Care Association (UKHCA).
On 1 October 2007 the government introduced a new National Service Framework in England for assessing eligibility for NHS Continuing Healthcare. This is intended to provide fairer and more consistent access to NHS funding for people with ongoing care needs outside hospital, whether this is at home or in a nursing / care home.
Find out more about what is meant by Continuing Care and whether the person you care for may be eligible.
The links below will take you to information from other organisations to help you learn more about permanent care: