Moving into a residential care home or a nursing home is an important decision and this page will hopefully help you understand some of the issues to consider.
Differences between residential care and nursing homes
The main difference is the type of care they offer. A residential care home provides accommodation and meals, leisure activities and personal care. A nursing home is similar to a residential care home, but must also have qualified nurses on the premises. Nursing home care is usually more expensive.
Why choose residential or nursing care?
You may be finding it difficult to look after yourself at home, perhaps because of a recent illness, or because you are getting more frail. There are a number of different services that may make your life easier. Residential care is one possibility; others services include homecare, day services, meals on wheels, home adaptations and aids to daily living, all of which may help you to continue to live independently.
Assessing your needs
Making a decision to move into a care home is not easy, particularly if you are unwell or bereaved. If you would like help from us please contact ASDIT on 0808 100 2500 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We will then arrange for a needs assessment to be carried out to find out whether residential care is right for you and what other services are available.
You might want to ask a friend or relative to be present to help you explain things. The care manager may also seek advice from your nurse, therapist or doctor. We will write down any arrangements that are agreed and give you a copy. This is called a care plan.
Adult and Community Services have limited resources and must help those people who are most in need. We will only support a request for residential care where the assessment shows that:
- The needs are Critical, Substantial or Moderate plus (please see the information on Fair Access to Care for further details)
- Residential care is the most appropriate way of meeting need
If you plan to move into an independent care home without the help from us, information is available on the Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales (CSSIW) website, where you will find a list of all registered residential homes in the area as well as copies of the most recent inspection reports. All homes, whether council run or private are regularly inspected by the CSSIW. Details and inspections reports by both CSSIW and the Council are also available on our Registered providers of care webpages.
Paying for residential and nursing care
If you need to go into residential or nursing care, the 'National Assistance Act' requires that you pay something towards the cost of your accommodation. You may have to pay the full costs of your care yourself or Social Services may agree to pay part of the costs.
In the following circumstances, you would have to pay the full costs of your care charges and you would not receive any financial assistance from Social Services:
- If you have over a certain amount of capital (for example, savings), you will have to pay the full cost of your accommodation, regardless of how much or how little income you have.
- If your income exceeds the costs of your care, you will have to pay the full cost of your accommodation.
If you cannot afford to pay the full cost of your accommodation, then Social Services will undertake a financial assessment to determine how much, if anything, you can afford to pay. Social Services will then pay the remainder of the costs of your care. The purpose of the financial assessment is to make sure that you are not asked to pay more than you can reasonably afford.
The financial assessment process is also used to calculate how much you may have to pay towards short-term (respite) care.
You can choose not to have a financial assessment if you wish but this means that you may have to pay the full cost of your care.
The financial assessment process
The Financial Assessment Process we have to follow and adhere to is laid down by the Welsh Government. This process enables us to calculate how much you can afford to pay towards your care.
These rules include certain allowances for 'capital thresholds' and 'personal expenses', which are reviewed annually, with changes taking effect from April of each year.
We will ask you to fill in a form giving us details of your financial circumstances (which includes your income, benefits, savings and capital, and also any property that you own or part-own).
Your care manager will arrange for someone from our Income Maximisation Team to visit you to fill in the form with you. They can answer your questions, and can also help with any benefits you or anyone else in your household may be eligible for.
More detailed information about paying for residential/ nursing care and the financial assessment process is set out in the publication available to download below:
Contributing towards the Cost of Residential and Nursing Care (PDF 33kb)
Paying for Residential and Nursing Care - Deferred Payment Scheme (PDF 94kb)
Advice for people who pay for their own care
If you meet the full costs of your care services without any financial help from the council – often referred to as 'self funding' – you are still entitled to advice and services from social services. Further information is contained in the leaflet below:
Advice for people who pay for their own care (PDF 1.2mb)
If you require any further information about residential and nursing care contact ASDIT on 0808 100 2500 or email email@example.com.