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Long-Term Care

Residential / Nursing Homes

People usually move into care because of failing health and increased dependency. If you are unsure of your needs then speak to your doctor who will advise you. It should be possible for you to visit the home and, ideally, stay a few days.

If you, your relatives, or friends can pay the home’s fees in full then you can make your own arrangements to go into any residential care or nursing home. Contact Social Services if you need help to pay the fees. You will still have the right to choose any home you like, as long as four key points are satisfied.

  • You have been assessed as needing residential or nursing home care and the preferred accommodation is suitable in relation to your needs.
  • There is a place available.
  • The home can provide that care at a price the authority would usually expect to pay or you are able to arrange a “top up”, perhaps from a relative or friend.
  • The home is willing to provide accommodation subject to the authority’s usual terms and conditions.

If the NHS is to fund your care in a nursing home then you still have a right to choose the home you wish to live in as long as it provides the specialist care you require.

You can move from one home to another and have exactly the same rights to choose the new home as you did the first one.

People unable to make their own choices

If the prospective resident is unable to express a preference for themselves the authorities must act on the preferences expressed by their carers in the same way that they would on the resident’s own wishes, unless that would be against the best interest of the resident.

Challenging decisions

Your right to choose is written into law. If you believe your right to choose is being infringed you should quote LAC (92)27 to the authority.

Paying for care

If you move into a residential care or nursing home with financial support from Social Services then they will make arrangements to pay the fees. Your contribution to the fees will take into account your own income and capital.

Residential care homes

Residential care homes are run by councils, charities, housing associations or private individuals. They provide accommodation, meals and personal care for the elderly.

Nursing homes

Nursing homes are mostly privately owned; some are run by councils and charitable organisations. Care is provided by qualified nursing staff 24 hours a day and they cater for patients with special needs such as those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease or incontinence problems.

Whether you choose a residential care home or a nursing home, all care homes:

  • Are registered with the local social services department
  • Have their facilities and standards checked regularly
  • Will welcome you to visit them to have a good look round before you make your final choice. Choosing the right home could make all the difference.

Independent organisations such as Citizens Advice Bureau and Age Concern are happy to provide further guidance on the current rules and your rights.


Home care is an excellent service provided by agencies and local authorities for those who don’t want to go into residential care but need some help in their own home to maintain their independence. Major users of this service are the elderly.

The Care in the Community Act which became law in the early 1990’s stated that people who are finding it difficult to manage at home, through infirmity, illness or disability, should be given the help and support they need to allow them to continue to live in the community amongst their friends and relatives, for as long as they are willing or able to do so.

What home care services are available?

  • Carers – Carers are usually available from 1 to 24 hours and will attend to the daily needs of the client. They are usually available to cook meals and do light domestic tasks.
  • Home helps – About 500,000 people in England and Wales have home care delivered by local authority social services departments. At present charges for home care depend on where you live – each authority sets its own charges. But from April 2001 a new national charging scheme is to be introduced.
  • Sleep-overs – An experienced carer will be available on-call to attend any needs overnight.
  • Sitters – Sitters can provide respite for those caring for elderly or sick relatives as well as providing companionship for those living on their own.
  • Qualified nurses – There are agencies available who can provide qualified nurses to attend to the needs of patients in the comfort of their own home. Nurses who specialise in the care of patients suffering from cancer usually work together with the patient’s doctor or consultant, maintaining a high standard of care and treatment.

How to select the right home care provider

  • Obtain as much literature as possible from various agencies and your local social services department.
  • Check how long the provider has been serving the community.
  • Make sure staff are experienced and, if home nursing is required, that they are qualified.
  • Enquire about what costs will be involved and whether financial assistance is possible.


Motability is a registered charity which helps disabled people of all ages to have the freedom to get around. Each year it awards grants in excess of £2million.

Who can apply for Motability?

  • Those in receipt of the higher rate mobility component of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or the War Pensioners’ Mobility Supplement (WPMS).
  • Children from five years of age and non-drivers who receive the correct allowance can also apply for cars as passengers.

What does Motability offer?

Contract hire of a new car, or hire purchase to:

  • buy a new car
  • buy a quality used car
  • buy a powered wheelchair or scooter

Motability suppliers

A national network of Motability Accredited First Class. Suppliers offers a wide range of cars, wheelchairs and scooters.
Look for the Motability sign.

Other financial help

  • Advance payment on some lease vehicles.
  • Adaptations to vehicles for those with more severe disabilities.
  • Grants towards the least expensive option to meet basic needs.
  • In some cases, driving lessons.

Motability, Warwick House, Roydon Road, Harlow, Essex CM19 5PX

Tel 01279 635999