Nursing homes

You may be trying to find a nursing home for a loved one if they require a higher level of support than that provided in a care home. All care homes provide residential and personal care.

A care home with nursing care is defined as a facility where there is always a qualified nurse on site, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Your relative will need a care home with nursing care if, within a 24 hour period, they require:

  • Medication by injection every 24 hours.
  • Artificial/PEG feeding.
  • The management and help with complex prostheses or walking supports ie unable to weight bear at all.
  • Nursing care for people confined to a bed.
  • Intensive rehabilitation following surgery, stroke or complex illness.
  • Physical and pain therapies.
  • Palliative care for cancer.

One of the major differences between care homes with nursing care compared with those without is in staff ratios. There will be far more staff per resident in a care home with nursing care to reflect the fact that residents need more frequent support with daily tasks and have more complex needs.

Your relative is likely to have had an assessment of care needs, which will include guidance on whether they require a care home with or without nursing care. The difficulty is that many self-funders do not have this assessment and also, the assessment may take some time and many families begin searching for care before having this guidance and may be unsure whether they require nursing care or not.

Of course, choice of care home is very individual. For example, some people will have physical difficulties which mean they require a care home with nursing needs, but have very good cognitive abilities. This means they may benefit from a care home which caters for both nursing and non-nursing patients, as this facility is likely to have a wider range of activities than a care home focused on nursing care alone. This type of dual purpose facility may also be the best choice if a husband and wife both need a care home, with perhaps one requiring nursing care and the other having less intensive needs.

C BARKER 9:03 am