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care home FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

The most important thing to remember is that any good care home and Home Manager will help answer any questions you have before you move in. Please do give us a call or pop into one of our nearby homes to find out more.  If you are currently searching for a care home for a loved one, give us a call and we will do our best to help you out. 


What do the different care types mean?

What is Residential Care?

Provided by trained carers, rather than registered nurses, residential care offers assistance with everyday activities, such as washing, dressing, eating, and mobility. Residential care often allows residents to maintain their independence whilst being confident that these areas of their life won’t be a struggle, so they can get on with doing the things they love.

What is Nursing care?

Provided by registered nurses in addition to trained carers, nursing care is for residents with more complex healthcare needs such as an illness or disability that requires the supervision of fully qualified nurses. This might involve frequent medication regimes, wound care, constant assessment, monitoring and care planning.

Many care homes provide a mixture of nursing and residential care. The biggest difference between a residential care home and a residential care home with 24-hour specialist nursing care is that you will find more staff in a home with nursing care. This is because the residents require more regular support with their daily tasks and will often have more complex needs.

What is Dementia care?

(including Alzheimer’s) 

Most residential care homes also offer specialist dementia care. Dementia is a term that describes a range of illnesses that affect the brain. The most common of these is Alzheimer’s. Dementia affects people in different ways and carers usually have special training to support sufferers.

What is Palliative or end of life care?

Palliative care or end of life care supports those whose condition no longer responds to treatment. Palliative care provides support by trying to manage any
pain, discomfort or distressing symptoms. The care can also provide psychological, emotional, practical and spiritual support to family and carers.

What is Respite or short stay care?

Respite care is for those who need to stay in a residential home on a short-term basis. This could be to recover from an illness or operation when extra support is needed. People who are normally cared for at home may need respite care if their usual carers are unavailable for a while for example because of an illness or a holiday. Respite care can be for a period of days, weeks or a few months.

respite FAQs

How to pay for a care home?

How much will I pay to stay in a care home?

Generally, charges are broken down into three different elements:

  • Personal care – provided by a carer (help with dressing, eating, bathing, mobility, etc.)
  • Nursing care – supervised by a qualified nurse
  • Accommodation – including food, heating and living costs.

How much you pay will depend on the care home, the length of your stay, the level of care you require, the size and location of your room and any chargeable extras you decide to pay for.

Do I qualify for financial assistance?

If you require financial assistance, your local authority will decide what level of care you require and look at your income and savings to determine whether you will need to make a contribution towards the cost. This will vary slightly according to where you live in the UK.  

Are there any other benefits I can claim?

Yes, you might be eligible for Attendance Allowance/Disabled Living Allowance (AA/DLA). These are both tax-free, non means-tested weekly benefits. If you’re paying for your own care, you’re likely to be eligible. If you’re receiving funding from the local authority towards your care home costs, this might not be paid as it is effectively included in that funding.  We have some handy hints and tips over on our blog:

Plus Top Tips #1 & 2 on Attendance Allowance:

Top Tips #1 - Am I eligible for Attendance Allowance: ​

Top Tips #2 - How to fill out the Attendance Allowance form:

More hints and tips about care and care homes from brighterkind


You might also qualify for Pension Credit. It’s mean-tested, and designed to ensure a minimum guaranteed income for those with limited savings or additional private income.

Contact your local social services department for further information on how to claim.

If I’m receiving financial assistance, do I still get to choose my care home?

Yes. The home you choose must be suitable for your needs and registered with the registration authority.

What happens if my savings run out?

When your savings fall below the upper limits set out by the government, you are likely to be able to qualify for financial assistance. You should contact your local social service department when your savings are approaching this limit, so they’ll know when they need to help.  To help you make the most of any savings or assets, we would recommend that you get independent financial advice as soon as possible (before you move into your care home is ideal). 

My partner needs care, but I don’t. How does this affect me?

Don’t worry, only the person who is going into the care home should be means tested. The property you are still living in will be ignored and your savings treated differently. Seek further advice from your social worker or benefits office.

How many staff do you have?

Care Homes no longer work on 'staff ratios'. brighterkind homes take pride in providing a higher level of personalised care for all our residents and have in place a suitably qualified, competent and skilled team to meet people’s care and treatment needs. Your Home Manager will discuss the level of care you require before you move in. The level of care offered may be adjusted if your care needs change. 

How do you assess whether you can care for me or my relative?

Once you have found a home that you like the look and feel of, the Home Manager will arrange to visit you at home or hospital. The purpose of this visit is to gather as much information as possible about your care needs. This is to make sure that the Home is able to get ready for your arrival and start to prepare your care plan with you before you move in. The assessment also serves as a final check that the Home is right for you in every way. If the Home Manager feels that the Home will not be able to provide appropriate care for you, you will be told immediately.

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