Residential and Nursing Care

Back to top

You may choose to stay in your own home and receive care or you may feel that sheltered housing or a care home may be more appropriate.

Otherwise, you or your carer may benefit from day care services which your local Trust can tell you about.

Following a care assessment, you may be advised to move into a care home on a temporary or permanent basis as your needs might be best met in this way. An assessment of need can help identify what type of home would be most suitable for you.

Below is an overview of the different types of care accommodation available. You will be able to learn how access residential care and find a suitable care home before you make an informed choice.

Finally, we examine what you can do if you have any problems with your choice. Remember, in Northern Ireland, care homes are registered and regulated by the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA).

Back to top

Choice of accommodation

From our summary of options below, you can begin to think about what care accommodation might suit you best

Sheltered Housing

Sheltered housing schemes usually involve self contained flats with an alarm system and a warden on hand to assist in emergencies. They usually have communal areas for group activities. Some sheltered housing provide meals and some personal care.

Respite Care

You may benefit from moving into care on a temporary basis to give you or your carer a welcome break. It may be beneficial for you to receive care while you overcome an illness or to give your carer respite.

It is also useful if you are considering moving into care on a more permanent basis as it allows you to trial the home before you choose.

Residential and Nursing Care Homes

A care home is an establishment which provides accommodation with personal or nursing care.

Care homes can be a big relief if you are struggling to cope in your own home or if you feel isolated. If your care needs are more complex, it may be advisable to move into a care home.

Nevertheless, remember, it is up to you to decide.

Specialist care homes

Specialist care homes are also available to care for people with a particular disability or need.

Some care homes specialize in the treatment of certain conditions such as dementia. Therefore, specialist care homes usually have specially trained staff and adapted facilities to support people with specific needs. 

Back to top

The choice is yours

You do not have to move into a care home even if it is suggested by social services following a care assessment. You can only be forced into a home under exceptional circumstances, such as detention under the Mental Health Act 1986.

If you believe your wishes are being ignored, seek advice from the likes of the Law Centre NIAge NI or the Elderly Accommodation Counsel straight away.

All care homes should be able to provide help with personal care, such as washing, dressing, bathing and using the toilet, if required. Other services provided in a care home should include physical and emotional care, staff available 24 hours a day and care through short-term illnesses.

However, if you are extremely frail or have a medical condition or illness that requires a lot of care from a medical professional, you may need a nursing care home, which provides nursing care as well as personal care. Nursing homes have qualified nurses on duty 24 hours a day.

Republic of Ireland

If you are considering moving to the Republic of Ireland, you can search for nursing homes on Nursing Homes Ireland.

Back to top