Care home

A residential setting where a number of older people live, usually in single rooms, and have access to on-site care services. Since April 2002 all homes in England, Scotland and Wales are known as ‘care homes’, but are registered to provide different levels of care.

  • A home registered simply as a care home will provide personal care only – help with washing, dressing and giving medication.
  • A home registered as a care home with nursing will provide the same personal care but also have a qualified nurse on duty twenty-four hours a day to carry out nursing tasks. These homes are for people who are physically or mentally frail or people who need regular attention from a nurse.
  • Some homes, registered either for personal care or nursing care, can be registered for a specific care need, for example dementia or terminal illness.
  • Dual registered homes no longer exist, but homes registered for nursing care may accept people who just have personal care needs but who may need nursing care in the future.
  • In Northern Ireland care homes are still known as residential care homes or nursing homes.

All homes provide meals and staff on call at all times.

Our Directory of Care Homes contains details of all care homes in the UK that cater exclusively or primarily for older people.