What are Care Homes?

You may not even know that there is a difference between care home and nursing homes. In fact, their differences are so misunderstood that the terms are often used interchangeably, as though they were simply synonyms for one another. However, there are differences and those distinctions are very important in terms of getting the right kind of care for yourself or your loved one.

To understand the distinctions between these, let’s look first at what is offered in a care home.

So, What Are Care Homes?

While not all care homes are the same, there are certain things that they should all have in common.

  • One is that they are staffed 24-hours a day by qualified care assistants with relevant qualifications, such as an NVL (National Vocational Qualification) at levels 2 or 3. This means that there’s always staff on hand who are capable of dealing with whatever issues the residents may experience.

The exact methods of care do vary in some ways depending on the care home. For example, care homes will all each have their individual schedules filled with everything from mealtimes to all kinds of activities throughout the day.

Here at Melrose, we ensure that we have a wide variety of things to do, including plenty of room for exercise suitable for different levels and preferences, along with activities that provide fun and mental stimulation as well as offering plenty of great opportunities to socialise. This is in order to make sure that every one of our residents have enough options to spend their day doing whatever makes them happiest and so they can live their lives to its fullest possible potential.

All care homes have a duty to provide this, but how it is executed can vary quite significantly. An example of our activity schedule is available on our website. Of course, this is always changing in order to keep things interesting, varied and best suited to our residents’ needs. These activities can – and we ensure they do – offer the opportunity for residents to improve their mental and physical well-being as much as is possible. The important thing is that a care home provides a life tailored towards the individual’s needs, from activities to the food on offer and everything in between.

Other things that a care home provides is simple assistance in whatever way is needed by that individual resident, be that help getting around, going to the bathroom, bathing and in general keeping high levels of personal hygiene, taking medication and much more. This individual level of care is maintained by keeping individual records on all the needs of residents and keeping an individual care plan for each and every resident. This is just an overview of what a care home provides: it would be impossible to go through everything we and other care homes do because, just as every person is different, so is their care.

What to Expect From a Nursing Home

The reason we’ve discussed at length what care homes do provide, as opposed to the differences between nursing homes and care homes is simple and that’s the differences aren’t that many. However, they are important distinctions between the two. To put it simply:

  • Nursing homes provide services very similar to care homes but for those in need of 24-hour medical attention via trained nurses that are on duty alongside things such as specialised medical equipment. This doesn’t mean that you cannot receive medical help via a care home: far from it. Keeping on top of things like medication is a big part of our job. However, nursing homes are more suited for those with chronic and serious long-term conditions.

Which type of home is right for you entirely depends on you or your loved one’s current medical status, as well as potential needs in the future. If this level of medical attention is not required, then a care home should be perfectly capable of meeting any and all needs. Of course, the best way to know is by getting advice if you have not already done so.

What Other Options Are Available?

There are other options aside from a long-term stay in a care home or a nursing home. Here’s a quick overview of other options that you can find.

  • At home care (domiciliary care): For many, going into a care home may not be necessary. Care in your own home via our domiciliary service may provide all the additional help you need, whether that’s in conjuncture with other help a person may be receiving from friends or loved ones or as a sole means of care.

  • Convalescence care: This is care for those who may have suffered a recent accident, medical issue or recovery from a long stay in hospital. It is ideal for those who have medical issues that can be best managed in a care home, for example if someone requires physio over a set period of time.

  • Respite care: This is similar to convalescence care, however it’s not necessarily due to a medical issue. A short-term stay can be for other reasons, for example to give your usual carer a break or if for whatever reason, your usual method of care is interrupted and temporary care is required from elsewhere.