Nursing homes provide accommodation, meals and personal care, but also have qualified nurses in constant attendance. Many also provide more specialist dementia care. A nursing home will generally charge higher fees than a residential home because it offers care by qualified nurses, higher staff to resident ratios, has more facilities, although the NHS now makes a contribution to nursing care fees.
Residential homes provide accommodation, meals and personal care, such as help with bathing and dressing, for those who are finding it difficult to cope at home, or who need more help than their carers are able to provide. They do not generally provide nursing care for any medical conditions you may have.
Elderly Mentally Infirm
The most common mental infirmities in older people are dementia-related conditions, such as Alzheimer's Disease. Depending on the level of dementia, care may be available in residential or nursing homes. There are also specialist units offering nursing or residential care with experienced staff and adapted facilities. Discuss your needs with your local home in the first instance, who can give you advice and arrange an assessment if necessary.
This is short term care, perhaps for a week or two, so that carers can have a break or if a carer is unavailable for a while. Some homes will have rooms set aside for respite stays, others will only offer it if there is a room vacant. You may have to pay a higher fee for respite care to cover the additional administration costs of a short stay.
Convalescent and post-operative care
This is short term care for people recovering from illness or an operation. Most nursing homes offer both convalescent and post-operative care, while residential homes will usually only offer convalescent care. As with respite care, additional fees may be charged for these short stays.
Palliative and terminal care
This is active, compassionate care of the chronically and terminally ill, directed towards improving the quality of life. Palliative care particularly focuses on the control of pain and symptoms. These specialist approaches include the individual, the family, carers and friends, and extend to bereavement and grief.