Moving into a residential care home
Moving into a care home permanently is a big step to take and you should be sure it is the right decision for you.
Take your time. Try not to make this decision in a hurry or at a time of crisis – for example, just after discharge from hospital, after an illness, or just after the death of a partner, close relative or carer. Take the time to consider other options and, if possible, talk things through with family members (and your care manager, if you have one).
If you’re unable to live independently, even with extra support, then you’ll need to be clear about your rights, what you will have to pay and what services you will receive for your money.
Respite care (short breaks)
Respite care means giving a break to someone who is usually looked after in their own home by their carer. It may be a short stay (usually one or two weeks) in a care home or somewhere else, for example, using the Family Placement Scheme, now known as ‘Shared Lives’.
Most homes offer short stays (respite) as well as permanent care.
Getting Adult Social Care involved
If you want to apply for help towards the cost, you will need to be assessed by Adult Social Care. Your local Adult Social Care office will arrange this with you.
You will also be asked to fill in a financial assessment form and there will be an assessment meeting. If you have had an assessment and it is decided that you are not eligible to get help paying your care costs, Adult Social Care can still give you help and guidance during the process of setting up your care.
Your right to choose
If you are paying for your care place yourself, you have a right to choose which home you would like to move into. If Adult Social Care is paying towards the cost, you still have a right to choose your home, provided:
- the home is suitable for your needs
- the cost of the home is not more than the local authority would usually expect to pay for someone with your needs
- accommodation is available at the home
- the owners at the home are prepared to provide your accommodation under a contract with the Council
If you would like to live in a care home that charges more than Adult Social Care would usually pay, you can still choose to live there but someone else (for example a relative or good friend) has to pay this extra or ‘top-up’ for you. This person is referred to as a ‘third party’ and they would need to enter into a legal agreement about the arrangement. Usually you would not be able to pay this ‘top-up’ yourself. Adult Social care have a leaflet on third party top-ups, which gives information about this.
You may try to find a home in the area you live at the moment. You could also look for a home outside of Leeds. You may know people already in a home and wish to go there, although this could mean that you have to wait for a vacancy.
What happens after you’ve moved into a home?
If Adult Social Care has been involved, they will want to make sure that you are satisfied with the home and after about six weeks they will check to see that things are going well. Your care manager will talk to you and your family and there may be a meeting of all those involved. If you’re not happy with the home or any other arrangements regarding your care, you should say so and help will be offered to sort out any problems.