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What is a residential care home?

Residential care is often the best choice for those with complex needs, providing a safe environment with staff on hand to provide assistance at all times. Residential care homes often look after elderly people when they are no longer able to care for themselves, but there are also brilliant residential care services for younger people with learning disabilities and other medical conditions and disabilities. Their intention is to enable people experiencing a number of health conditions and disabilities to live fulfilling and comfortable lives. 

What is residential care?

Residential care, usually provided in a care or nursing home, is a form of social care which supports those with high care needs with a combination of secure, permanent accommodation and everyday care. Some examples of the care tasks which staff in a residential care setting may help residents with include:

  • Getting dressed, hair and nail care
  • Bathing, hygiene, going to the toilet and continence management
  • Basic medical care such as replacing dressings, monitoring and administering medication or managing stoma bags and catheters
  • Preparation of meals and support with diet and nutrition
  • Support with mobility and with getting in and out of bed

How do residential care homes work?

Residential care homes provide a supportive living environment for individuals who need assistance with daily activities but do not require the intensive medical care of a nursing home. 

While they are typically for older people, these homes provide care for anyone over the age of 18 who struggles with daily life due to old age, a physical disability, a learning disability, mental health problems, addiction or other care needs.

The residents typically stay in these homes for an extended period, ranging from months to years, depending on their needs and preferences. And visiting policies vary, but family and friends are usually encouraged to visit regularly. Some care homes offer flexible visiting hours, while others may have more structured schedules.

Residential care homes offer various levels of care, from basic assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs) like bathing and dressing, to more specialised care for individuals with dementia or other specific medical conditions. The staff provide meals, housekeeping, medication management, and social activities to enhance residents’ quality of life.

Some residential homes come with their own salon, cafe, bar and other amenities to occupy the residents and enhance their quality of life. 

Ultimately, these homes aim to create a safe, home-like atmosphere while ensuring that residents receive the necessary care and support.

How do you know if residential care is the right option?

Determining if residential care is the right option depends on individual circumstances. As a general rule, you should consider it when a loved one’s safety, wellbeing, and quality of life are compromised at home due to increasing care needs, cognitive decline, or medical conditions. The signs of this may include difficulty with daily tasks, safety concerns, caregiver burnout, or social isolation. 

You should also evaluate financial resources, medical requirements and personal preferences. Does your loved one wish to receive care in the comfort of their own home, or to feel a part of a community in a residential facility? Consulting healthcare professionals is another good idea, as well as family members to assess the level of care needed. 

Residential care can provide specialised support, 24/7 supervision, and a structured environment, making it suitable for those who require more comprehensive care and a supportive community.

What are the benefits of residential care homes?

Residential care homes can offer a number of important advantages for residents and for their families, which can make it an attractive option. The benefits may include:

  • Safety: When people have more complex health and care needs, there can be hazards everywhere, and without support even the most familiar surroundings can become dangerous. In residential care settings, these risks are mitigated.
  • Clean, comfortable surroundings: For those who struggle to look after themselves, it’s often not possible to maintain adequate levels of cleanliness and hygiene at home. In a residential care setting, you can be sure of a comfortable, pleasant and safe environment, including food hygiene and fire safety
  • Peace of mind: For the families and friends of the individuals receiving the care, knowing that their loved one is being looked after in a residential care home can provide reassurance and peace of mind.
  • Medical attention and supervision: From attending to bed sores to ensuring that dementia patients consistently take any necessary medications, residential care means that there is always someone on hand to ensure that residents’ needs are being met.
  • Social life: For vulnerable people who may not otherwise be able to get out and see others, residential care can help to give them a sense of companionship and community, and the opportunity to participate in activities with other residents.

What are the alternatives to residential care?

For those who may want to remain in the familiar surroundings of their own home, or who desire greater independence and wish to be more self-reliant, residential care may not be the most attractive care option. Instead, supported living may be a better option for those hoping to achieve greater independence, as it allows people to manage their own living space, budget and routine. Visiting or domiciliary care at home can also be a suitable option for those who have care needs, who would benefit from remaining in their own home, but do not necessarily require round-the-clock support. For those who need high-level care but want to avoid having to move into a care home, hiring a live-in carer may be a suitable form of support. 

Take a look at The Fremantle Trust’s Residential care homes.

Who is residential care suitable for?

Residential care is usually used by those who have more complex care needs, who are not able to take care of themselves independently or rely on ad hoc support in the community. This can be people with a variety of conditions, disabilities and illnesses, including:

  • Elderly people who are very frail or struggling with mobility
  • Those with mental health conditions, addiction or substance abuse issues
  • People with more severe learning disabilities or brain injuries
  • Sufferers of dementia, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease
  • People with terminal conditions who require palliative or end-of-life care

Who pays for a residential care home? 

The question of who pays for residential care is often a primary concern for residents and their families. Care can be expensive, and many people are worried that they may have to sell their home in order to afford it. You can access support from your local authority if your financial position means you aren’t able to pay for your care, and in some cases, the medical necessity of care may mean that the NHS will pay. If you have more income, savings or assets, you may be required to fund your own care.

To better understand how The Fremantle Trust can support the needs of someone requiring care in one of our residential care homes, contact us today. We have care homes located across the Buckinghamshire county. Learn more about care homes nearest to you:

Care home in Aylesbury
Care homes in Princes Risborough
Nursing home in Chalfont St Peter
Care homes in Amersham
Care homes in Slough
Care homes in Chesham
Care homes in Stoke
Care homes in Burnham
Care homes in High Wycombe
Care homes in Marlow