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Frequently Asked Questions

What will the NHS normally provide?

T he NHS will make a contribution to your nursing costs, even if you are paying all your own fees. Nursing care is defined as the care you have been assessed to need from a registered nurse. In England the NHS will pay towards the cost of the nursing part of your care as determined as being required to be provided by a registered nurse in a nursing home. Effective from 1st April, 2018 the payment is £158.16 per week. This contribution applies irrespective of whether the cost of care is funded privately or by the Local Authority. This contribution will normally be paid to the care home directly from the NHS and will already have been deducted from your weekly fee.

Should you require a significant level or complexity of care then the NHS may fund your care under a scheme called Continuing Healthcare. This level of funding is awarded following a joint assessment by the NHS and Social Services. This funding will usually cover most, if not all, of your care costs but is subject to regular review and should your needs change then this funding can be withdrawn by the NHS. In some cases the level of funding paid the by local CCG may not fully cover the cost of your care in a particular home or part of a home and in this event a “top-up” may have to be agreed with the home.

Paying for professional healthcare services is a complex subject and everyone’s situation has to be individually assessed. We recommend that you seek advice about your own case. Amongst the organisations which offer specialist healthcare advice for the elderly: Age UK 0808 808 6060

Department of Work and Pensions
Paying For Care
Your local Social Services Department or Your Independent Financial Adviser.

What are the different types of care?

H ere we will give brief descriptions of the different types of care available from Restful Homes Group.

Residential Care: A Residential Care Home provides accommodation, meals and personal care, an example would be help with bathing and dressing for those elderly people who are finding it increasingly difficult to cope at home. Residential care homes do not generally provide nursing care for any medical conditions. The minimum admission age is normally 65, although please check with us about individual homes as some may accept younger residents.

Nursing Care: Nursing Care Homes provide accommodation, meals and personal care, but in addition they will have qualified nursing staff in constant attendance. Many of our nursing homes also provide more specialist care services such as dementia care. Nursing care is generally more expensive and higher fees will be payable than with a residential care home because of the qualified nursing staff on hand. The NHS does now make a contribution towards nursing care fees. The minimum age for admission is normally 65, although please check with the individual home as some may accept younger residents.

Dementia Care: Dementia is one of the most common mental infirmities suffered by older people and includes other dementia related conditions such as Alzheimers Disease. Depending upon the level of dementia present, care may be available in either a residential or a nursing home. Please discuss your individual needs with us in the first instance.

Challenging Behaviour: Sadly sometimes people with Dementia can exhibit behaviours that challenge as a result of their Dementia. This can be extremely distressing and requires specialst care and may require additional support. Many of our homes are specially designed and staffed to meet the needs of residents with Challenging Behaviour, please contact us to discuss your individual needs.

Respite Care: This is generally short term care, perhaps for only a week or two, to enable the normal carer to have a break or to provide cover if your normal carer is temporarily unavailable for a while, e.g. on holiday. Some of our homes have rooms set aside for respite care patients, others may only offer this service if there is a room vacancy. Please contact us to discuss your individual needs.

Palliative & Terminal Care: This is compassionate care of those who are chronically and terminally ill, and the care is aimed towards improving the quality of life. Palliative care concentrates on the control of pain and symptoms. Please contact us to discuss your individual needs.

What can I expect the state to provide?

T he State provides a level of care for those less well off, but if you have the capital and ability to pay for yourself the State will expect you to cover at least part of the accommodation and personal costs in a residential nursing home. There are currently 3 bands of support:

1. In England your local authority may pay for the cost of your residential or nursing home care if your capital is less than £23,250. The local authority may still pay for part of your accommodation and personal care (but not the full cost) if your capital is above this and you should contact them and request that they carry out a full financial assessment in order to ascertain what assistance they will provide.

If you would prefer to reside in a more expensive home than the Local Authority would normally be willing to pay for, you are permitted to arrange for a third party contribution from another source to make up the difference.

The value of your home would only be included in your assets value if you live alone, or you and your partner are both moving into a care home. In addition, the Local Authority will disregard the value of your home for 12 weeks after your admission to a permanent nursing or residential care home. You are normally expected to use all your income – including any pension, benefit etc. to fund the cost of your care. The only exception to this is that you are allowed to keep £24.90 a week spending money which the local authority call a Personal Allowance.

What types of care do you provide?

We provide most of the available types of healthcare including:

  • Residential care
  • Nursing care
  • Dementia care
  • Challenging Behaviour Care
  • Respite care
  • Palliative care

How do I choose a care home?

W hen choosing a care home it is usually helpful to speak to a number of people including:

  • Your friends and relatives who may have loved ones in care already
  • your GP
  • your local Social Services Department who will be able to provide you with a list of the registered Homes in your area.
  • Visit a very useful website which will provide a list of all of the homes in your area along with ratings of the care delivered provided by residents or relatives who have experience of living at the home.
  • the Elderly Accommodation Counsel, Third Floor, 89 Albert Embankment, London SE1 7PT. Tel : 020 7820 1343. Email :

How do I get the ball rolling?

T his depends on whether you are paying all the Care Homes fees yourself or asking the Local Authority to help fund part of the cost. If you are paying the total cost of the Care Home fees yourself you can contact the Home directly. Once contacted the Home will make an appointment with you to assess your/your relatives needs to ensure that they can offer you the level of care required. If you are asking the Local Authority to help fund part of the cost you should firstly speak with your/your relatives GP and your local Social Services Department. They will carry out an assessment of your/your relatives needs and produce a detailed report called a ‘Care Plan’ – this outlines the level of care, including any nursing care they feel you require.

Can I choose the home I want?

I f you are paying all of the fees yourself you can choose whichever Home you feel best suits you/your relatives needs which is in your price range. If the Local Authority is assisting with the funding cost it does not mean that you have to choose one of their own run homes. You can request any Home that accepts residents funded by the Local Authority, however the Local Authority will ensure that the Home of your choice is suitable for the needs determined in the Care Plan. The Local Authority will also need to ensure that the Home of your choice does not cost more than it would usually pay for the level of care required.

What services are available?

R estful Homes Group provides the highest standards of 24 hour nursing and personal care and offers a full range of services. Good nutrition is especially vital for the elderly and we provide a varied ever changing menu that uses fresh and seasonal produce. Cleanliness of our residents’ rooms and the Home in general is vitally important to us and each of our Homes has a housekeeper and a team of domestics. Full laundry services are provided.

Visiting services include:-

  • Experienced Hairdressers
  • Chiropodists
  • Opticians
  • Dentists

What questions should I ask when deciding on a care home?

T here are many questions you need to consider when making an important decision involving the future care and well being of an elderly relative. These can be broken down into 5 main areas:

1. Location

  • Ease of access and convenience for family and friends to visit
  • Is it convenient for shops, public transport and amenities?
  • Does the surrounding area appeal to you?
  • Are there outside rest areas?

2. Initial Impression

  • Were you made to feel welcome by the staff?
  • Were you offered refreshments?
  • Do the present residents seem happy and is the atmosphere ‘homely’?
  • Is the home well maintained, in a good state of repair and clean?
  • Does the Home have a pleasant smell?

3. Bedrooms

  • Were you shown the actual room that you/your relative would occupy?
  • Can residents bring their own furniture and other possessions?
  • Is the room pleasantly decorated?
  • Does the room have en-suite facilities?
  • Is there a television and telephone point?
  • Can residents lock their room (if it is advisable for them to do so)?
  • Is it possible to move to another room if the one offered doesn’t suit?

4. Care

  • Does the Home provide the level of care required for your/your relatives needs?
  • Is a regular review of those needs undertaken?
  • Does the Home provide the next level of care should it be required in the future?
  • Can residents eat when they want to?
  • Can meals be taken in a residents bedroom if desired?
  • Is there a choice of menu?
  • Are special diets catered for e.g. vegetarian, diabetic?
  • Are snacks readily available at all times?
  • Are the menus changed on a regular basis?
  • Do the cooking staff consult the residents on their preferences?
  • Can residents choose who they sit with to eat their meal?
  • Can relatives and friends have a meal?
  • Does the Home offer a full range of services?
  • Are residents able to choose which Doctor they can see?
  • Are there visiting Dentists, Chiropodists, Opticians, etc?
  • Does the Hairdresser visit the Home regularly?
  • Are other services available such as physiotherapy and occupational therapy if required?
  • Are there ample assisted bathing facilities in the Home?
  • Do residents have the freedom to rise and go to bed when they want to?
  • Will relatives be advised if a resident is taken ill and generally kept informed of their well being?

5. Other Issues / Activities

  • Is there a quiet lounge without a television where residents can go if they wish?
  • Are there safe and secure garden facilities?
  • Is there a bar?
  • Are arrangements in place to accommodate the needs of people who smoke if they wish to?
  • Is there easy access for people with walking difficulties, wheelchairs, etc?
  • Are there toilet facilities within easy reach of all parts of the Home?
  • Do the corridors and toilets have secure handrails?
  • During your visit did staff appear to be friendly and caring towards existing residents?
  • Does each resident have a staff member allocated to be responsible for their care?
  • What staff training is given?
  • Is there a weekly plan of activities – were examples shown to you during your visit?
  • Are residents asked what hobbies and interests they have?
  • Are birthdays and other special events celebrated in the Home?
  • Is exercise encouraged? If so, what form does this take?
  • Does the Home take residents out on day trips?
  • Does the Home have its own transport, e.g. minibus?
  • Are daily newspapers available for residents?
  • Is there a well stocked library in the Home or a visiting library service?
  • Can residents attend services at places of worship? If so, is transport provided? Or are there visiting clergy?
  • Are residents encouraged to take part in the daily activities if they are able, e.g. cleaning, gardening, cooking etc?
  • Were there any photographs of any recent activities on display in the Home?
  • Did you feel overall that the specific needs of you/your relative could be met by the Home you have visited?