Care Homes vs Nursing Homes

Care Homes, sometimes otherwise referred to as Residential Homes, provide residential care for those that can no longer manage in their own home.  In many cases this can be because of old age and an inability to perform everyday care tasks.  Care homes also provide a safe and caring environment for those who may have suffered illness as a result of old age.  Illnesses such as dementia and Alzheimer’s and arthritis can be debilitating in just going about everyday tasks, and cause concern in the welfare and well-being of our elderly relatives. 

A Care Home will provide such basic care needs as meals and accommodation, help with bathing and dressing, and physical and emotional care. Within each county, such as Bristol, independent care homes can provide specialist care, or have specialist equipment, to cater for mobility or disability needs.  This may also include having specially trained staff, so if your care needs are quite specific, it may well be worth searching for a local care home that has experience with your requirements.

Nursing homes are skilled nursing facilities and convalescent homes.  Many of us never consider the importance of these valuable caring resources within our community until faced with a member of our family who needs specialized full-time care. With our aging population significantly on the increase the demand for nursing home places has increased.  Nursing homes can provide temporary rehabilitation or convalescent care; or permanent care for those with serious medical conditions.

A nursing home or care home with nursing, has Registered Nurses who can help provide professional 24-hour care to those who can no longer adequately attend to themselves due to physical, emotional or mental conditions.  A licensed doctor supervises patient care and nurses are on the premises at all times to administer appropriate treatment.

Most nursing homes offer skilled medical care and custodial care.  Skilled medical care is normally associated with the administration of medication and therapeutic treatments. Custodial care is the assistance with everyday living tasks such as toileting, bathing, eating etc.

Nursing and Care homes for adults in England are regulated by the Care Quality Commission, which replaced the Commission for Social Care Inspection, and each care home is inspected at least every three years. In Wales the Care Standards Inspectorate for Wales has responsibility for oversight, In Scotland the Scottish Commission for the Regulation of Care and in Northern Ireland the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority in Northern Ireland.

Helping an elderly loved one make the move into a care home can be difficult as it can be viewed as a step away from independence.  However, it can provide great peace of mind to family with concerns about welfare and safety and can be a great way of providing emotional security and social stimulation.