Residential care homes bridge the gap between independent living and requiring nursing care. They are open to adults over the age of 18, and most care homes in the UK offer a range of different services. The most common options include short-term, long-term, and respite care, but some homes also accommodate palliative and emergency care.
Residential Care in Numbers
In the United Kingdom, there are currently more than 17,000 care homes, which are home to a little over 400,000 residents. The vast majority of those care homes, more than 12,000, are residential care homes. More than 5,000 homes are nursing homes.
All 17,000+ registered care homes employ just under 700,000 carers and other support staff. The population of residential care homes dropped during the coronavirus pandemic, with families and relatives fearing for the safety of loved ones. However, industry experts believe that occupation will likely rise to pre-pandemic levels again over the coming years as vaccination programmes continue to be rolled out.
What Residential Care Homes Offer
Residential care homes offer not only accommodation but also 24-hour access to care for residents who need help with everyday tasks. Services may include mobility, eating, administering medication, as well as daily care such as washing and dressing.
As the name suggests, tenants can treat the care home as their home, with the added benefit of support available when they need it. Many residential care homes also offer residents a full social calendar and plenty of opportunities to socialise with other tenants, allowing them to continue leading a meaningful life.
One main difference separates residential care homes from nursing homes: residential homes do not normally have a fully trained nurse on staff 24/7. Residents may be managing medical conditions but without the need for permanent professional medical support. Their needs are often more practical in nature.
Although many residents are seniors, these care homes are not exclusive to the elderly. They are equally well equipped to support people with physical disabilities, learning difficulties, or mental health problems, to name just a few.
Choosing a Residential Care Home
Choosing to move into residential care is among the biggest decisions a person can make in their lifetime. In fact, Age UK calls the decision “daunting.” Finding the right care home in Slough starts by understanding the prospective resident’s needs.
Apart from accommodation, what do they need help with? If your loved ones require assistance with personal care, for example, a residential care home can be a great choice. If they are still active and enjoy socialising, it is worth looking for a care home that offers these services.
With needs defined more clearly, it is easier to visit and assess potential care homes to see whether they are a good fit. A great care home will feel like home after a while and allow residents to enjoy this next stage of their lives to the fullest – with the right kind of support available when they need it.