Is Now the Right Time to Move Into a Care Home?

Moving into a care home is a big step. Ideally, you’ll want to take some time over the decision so that you’re well prepared for the adjustment. It’s then much more likely to be a successful transition.

In current times, with high Covid rates across the country, moving into a care home can seem like an even bigger step. But should you worry?

After almost two years of learning to live with the virus, care homes are among the safest places you can be. Anybody who isn’t fully vaccinated is not permitted into our homes, this includes staff, tradespeople and even delivery drivers.

We are also inspected by the Care Quality Commission and local councils and must demonstrate that we have robust infection prevention and control measures in place.

There are other reasons why you could benefit from moving into a care home. Isolation and loneliness increased during the pandemic. In a care home you always have company and the opportunity to take part in a pre planned activities programme including bus trips to local beauty spots or local tea rooms.

You also get three nourishing meals every day freshly prepared for. Your medications are taken care of, and there are always trained staff on hand to look after you 24 hours a day.

Moving Into a Care Home – Practical Steps

So, if moving into a care home sounds like a more reassuring and appealing prospect, what should you do next?

Always do your research. We try to offer as much information as possible to help people decide whether an Altogether Care home is the right choice for them.

Booking a short stay is a good way to sample life in one of our homes. This can also give family members who’ve been helping to care for you a bit of a break. However much information you have about life in a care home, there’s no substitute for trying it out and seeing whether it feels right – and whether moving into a care home is something you’re ready to do.

Once you’ve selected a care home, decide which clothes and other personal possessions you want to take with you. We encourage our residents to bring pictures, ornaments and items of furniture with them so that your room feels like home.

If you have any questions about moving into a care home or would like to arrange a visit to take a look around and see what life might be like, just get in touch on 01305 300 161 or email contact@altogethercare.co.uk.

Self-Funding Care – What You Need to Know

If you live in England and have more than £23,250 in savings, you will probably have to pay for at least some of your care. The value of your property may also be taken into consideration if you opt for residential care rather than care in your own home.

As care costs can be significant, it’s no surprise that self-funding is one of the things we get asked about most often. Care at home will cost at least £20 per hour and residential care over £600 per week.

The reality for most people is that care costs are hard to avoid, and some level of self-funding is inevitable. But there are exceptions and it always pays to know the facts so you can plan effectively. The Money Advice Service has plenty of information on their website.

Exceptions and Benefits

Social care is intended to help with tasks that are part of normal living rather than healthcare needs for a disability or complex medical condition. Continuing healthcare requirements could potentially be covered by NHS funding. Unfortunately, there are no clear definitions of what conditions are included and getting the NHS to pay for healthcare costs can be difficult.

To access NHS support, you will need to ask your GP or social services department to arrange a care needs assessment.

You may be able to claim benefits to meet some of your care costs. If you are over 65 and have a long-term illness or disability, you can claim Attendance Allowance towards the cost of care at home. This may not cover the whole cost of your care but will help to reduce the burden.

If you have an illness or disability caused by work, you can claim Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit and possibly a Constant Attendance Allowance on top of this if you need daily care.


The value of your property isn’t relevant if you are planning to receive care in your own home. If you decide on residential care, it will be counted unless your partner continues to live in it.

It might be that selling your property to pay for residential care is a sensible choice. But there are alternatives if you’re not yet ready to make that step or if you want to remain at home. Equity release will provide a lump sum in return for a share of your home. Your council may also have a deferred payment scheme where they fund your care and recover the cost from the proceeds when your home is eventually sold or from your estate.

Arranging Care

If you are paying for your own care, you can choose a care provider you prefer and deal with them directly. It still makes sense to have a care needs assessment so that you know what type and level of care you need to buy and whether any financial support is available. The council might, for example, pay for equipment or modifications to your home to make it easier for you to live in.

If you think you are eligible for council or NHS funded care, arranging a care needs assessment will be the first step.

In some areas you can ask social services to arrange care with an approved provider and bill you for the cost, but not all areas offer this.

If you are funding your own care and you think that your savings will go below the £23,250 threshold, you should contact your social services department three months beforehand. They can then arrange a new financial assessment. They will not back-date their financial support if you claim after your savings have gone below the threshold.

Self-funding care can be a complex area, the team at Altogether Care are always happy to answer any questions you might have. Just give us a call on 01305 206140 or visit our Contact page.

Which Elderly Care Option is the Right One?

Like it or not, care is something more of us will have to think about. People are living longer and more of us will develop medical conditions that mean we will need help to cope with everyday life to some degree.

Of course, there are plenty of excuses to put it off. These include fears over the potential cost or simply not wanting to accept that time is taking its toll and we need a bit of help. But it’s a reality that may have to be faced and there are probably many more care options than you realise.

Many chose to receive care at home. This can include help with simple tasks such as cleaning, cooking, shopping, washing or dressing. It can make life in your own home easier to manage and give you more time to do things you enjoy. For people with more acute medical needs there are further options to help you stay in your own home including live-in care.

Assisted Living

Assisted living is also a possibility. Typically, people have their own apartment in a home that has round the clock care support available if needed. The advantages are that these homes are designed specifically for people with greater mobility and focus on providing a more convenient and social environment for those that may want to take away the hassle and cost of running their own home.

Residential Care

Residential care is also not always what people imagine. Many residents in our care homes live active, fulfilling and enjoyable lives and are always guaranteed company and something to do. Being within a residential care setting also means that somebody is keeping an eye on your health and nursing or dementia care can be introduced when needed.

Respite Care

Respite care is used for a short period to give carers and the cared-for a break and a change of scene. And sometimes home care or residential care is provided temporarily to help recovery from injury or illness.

How & When do I Need to Choose?

Choosing the best option will depend on each individual and their needs. The first stage is usually to have a care assessment carried out by social services. You might also have a care assessment if you are discharged from hospital.

Based on the care assessment an individual care plan will be developed. This must consider your preferences and allow you to make choices for yourself. This is a good time to understand all of your options and talk them through with family and friends.

Paying for Care

Unless you have very little in the way of savings or assets or your care is the result of a medical diagnosis your care will not be free in England. You can find information about the costs of care here.

The team at Altogether Care will also be happy to advise you. Our information on funding care may be helpful. And you are always welcome to visit one of our care homes to see for yourself what supported living in a caring environment looks like.

SO, You Need to Find a Care Home? – What Are Your Options?

The need to choose a care home normally follows a care needs assessment carried out by your local social services department or a discharge from hospital. In either case, you will have an assessment of your needs that will be used to create a care plan.

The Age UK website has plenty of useful information about how care assessments work and the support you are entitled to.

Following the assessment, there will be a means test to determine how much you will have to contribute to the cost of your care. If you are planning to move permanently into assisted living the means test will include the value of your property, but not if you will be receiving care at home.

If it is decided that residential care is the most appropriate option, the local authority will give you a list of local care homes. This may not be a complete list, particularly if the local authority is funding all or most of your care. It is usually a good idea to carry out some additional research yourself.

The internet is a good source of information and a simple search on Google will give you an extensive list of local care homes. You will also find online reviews to help you narrow your choice. Other things to consider are whether a home is convenient for friends and family to visit and how easily you will be able to access leisure facilities, a place of worship or whatever else is important in your life.

Paying for Care

If you have assets (normally savings and property) of more than £23,250 you will be expected to pay the full cost of residential care. The value of your property may not be included if you live with a partner, child, or a relative who is disabled or over the age of 60. This process can get quite complicated so getting help from a friend, family member or carer can be helpful.

When choosing a care home or care at home provider it can be helpful to look beyond your immediate care needs. If it’s likely that care needs will become more extensive over time, will you be able to get the extra help you need without having to find a new provider?

If you are in hospital, any care needs should be assessed before you are discharged and a suitable care plan should be put in place. Sometimes this may be a question of temporary or reablement support while you fully recover from your treatment. Again, this can be either care at home or assisted living. This care will normally be free of charge for up to six weeks.

We have published a number of easy to follow guides covering many aspects of arranging and funding your care. Subjects include funding your care, direct payments, knowing your rights and more about your care options. We would also be delighted to show you around any of our care homes, so you can see for yourself what supported living in a caring environment looks like. Contact us today on 01305 300 161 to arrange a visit.

Complex care needs require more flexible options

As the population continues to age the number of older people with multiple health issues and complex care needs is increasing. Understanding the different care and support options that are available isn’t always easy. Rules regarding funding of long-term nursing care are not straightforward.

In addition to a range of physical and mobility related needs, complex care can include conditions such as dementia, Alzheimer’s, epilepsy, strokes and behavioural difficulties arising from a loss of mental awareness.

Care planning has to reflect the highly individual nature of each person’s health issues and needs. Better understanding of the care available will help to alleviate issues of older people remaining in hospital despite being medically fit for discharge. Equally, it is clear that many older people are discharged without having an appropriate care package agreed and are left to struggle on at home as best they can.

Nursing Care

For many, a care home represents an opportunity to get the specialist nursing care they need to live a more fulfilling life. Sometimes this can be a temporary arrangement as they recover from a fall or an operation and sometimes it is longer-term. The important thing is that their needs are assessed carefully, and an appropriate care package is devised.

In other cases, receiving nursing care in their own home is the person’s preferred option. Some people benefit from the greater sense of independence and home care also removes the need to fund the residential element of care home fees.

There is no single solution that suits everyone, which is why we make care for people with complex needs highly individualised and as easy as possible to access.

Throughout our care homes we offer access to a qualified care team 24-hours a day, covering a range of specialties. We also offer high dependency care and help with reablement in people’s own homes. It’s all about fitting the care package and the setting around the needs of each individual.

For more information on our available care options, click here.




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