Types of care and ways of paying for it

The main options facing people who have long-term care needs are:

  • Staying in the home. There are a range of support services to help people with care needs remain at home. Technological improvements are making this possible for more people.
  • Choose a residential care home. It may not be possible, or desirable in some cases, to continue to live at home. The choice is then between the type of residential care: 
Type of care home What they offer
Residential care homes  Personal care, such as washing, dressing, taking medication and going to the toilet. They may also offer social activities such as day trips or outings. 
Nursing homes  Personal care as well as assistance from qualified nurses. Sometimes called care homes with nursing. 
Care homes with dementia care  Designed to make people with dementia feel comfortable and safe. 
Dual-registered care homes  Accept residents who need both personal care and nursing care. This means that someone who initially just needs personal care but later needs nursing care won’t have to change homes. 
Domiciliary care Domiciliary care is provided to people who still live in their own homes but who require additional support with household tasks, personal care or any other activity that allows them to maintain their independence and quality of life.
Respite care  Respite care means taking a break from caring, while the person you care for is looked after by someone else. 
End-of-life care  End-of-life care aims to support someone in the later stages of a life-limiting condition to live as well as possible until they die. 
Assisted living  Assisted living is a type of ‘housing with care’ which means you retain independence while you're assisted with tasks such as washing, dressing, taking medication and going to the toilet. 
Intermediate care  Intermediate care (IC) is non means-tested, time-limited, short-term support. IC services must be free for the first six weeks or if the agreed timescale is less than six weeks, for that period. While a local authority has the power to charge if IC extends beyond six weeks, it has discretion to extend provision of free services.