19. Starting to Choose a Care Home

19. How to choose a Care Home

Choosing a care home for someone you care for can be a stressful and difficult process. This sheet aims to point you in the right direction of where to get support and help.

There are many different types of care home available including care homes and residential homes for older people, homes for people with learning disabilities and homes for children. Some may be privately owned, and some run by local authorities or voluntary organisations.

Paying for a Care Home

The main sources of support for funding a care home would be through the NHS or social services depending on the individual circumstances. There may also be support available from charities such as the Family Fund, which provides support for severely disabled children.

NHS Continuing Care

The NHS will pay for healthcare for people with ongoing healthcare needs who meet the eligibility criteria. It will cover healthcare in any setting such as a care home, hospice or someone’s own home. It will cover accommodation, nursing and healthcare costs. Not everyone with an illness or disability is eligible. More details of this assessment of eligibility can be found on the NHS website.

If someone is not eligible for NHS funding, they are entitled to be assessed by their local authority. They may also be entitled to some of the costs back from the health authority, if not all. Care services from the local authority are usually means tested.

Funding from the local authority is usually means tested and so the individual’s financial situation will be assessed. They may need to contribute some or all of the costs of their care depending on their financial situation. For an assessment by your local authority in Cheshire East, please contact the Social Care and Health team on 0300 123 5010

Choosing a Care Home

There are many options to take into consideration when considering which care home including:

  • Location
  • Level of care required. For example, if someone needs medical care, they would generally need to go to a nursing home which provides this level of care. For more independence, a residential home may be more appropriate
  • Safety and security arrangements
  • Facilities/Available recreational activities

Social services normally encourage people to be as independent as possible so may consider supported living residential homes depending on the individual circumstances

Care homes for adults are regulated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) www.cqc.org.uk and those for children are regulated by Ofsted www.ofsted.gov.uk. You can check how any care home has performed by going to the relevant website and reading the most recent inspection report.

Healthwatch Cheshire East have recruited and trained a group of volunteers, who undertake scrutiny visits of care homes in the area as a ‘critical friend’. If you would like to see if they have visited a care home that you are interested in and results of their reports please call them on 03300 882843

Age UK Cheshire East can also offer help and support when choosing a home and can be contacted on 01625 612958 and you can download a useful brochure using this link


Further information can be found at the following:

NHS Choices website www.nhs.uk.

Healthwatch Cheshire East www.healthwatchcheshireeast.co.uk

Cheshire East Council website www.cheshireeast.gov.uk

Cheshire East Council Social Care and Health team 0300 123 5010. Source: NHS Choices website.

Independent Age

Provides Advice and Support for the older age and have produced a guide on how to choose the right care home.


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