Residential care homes and nursing homes

It may have been suggested that you need to move into a residential care home, because of an accident or an increase in your need for daily support, but this may not necessarily be the right decision. You should explore the other housing options available to you, seek advice, and make the right decision for you.

Types of care home

There are 2 types of care homes:

  • residential care homes – offer 24 hour care. Staff help with personal care, eg washing, dressing, using the toilet and having meals.
  • nursing homes – offer the same as residential care homes, plus 24 hour medical care from qualified nurses.

Care homes can be run by:

  • voluntary organisations and charities
  • private companies and individuals


Care homes provide:

  • 24 hour care
  • your own room (usually with an en-suite bathroom) which you can personalise with your own furniture, pictures and ornaments
  • meals cooked for you and served in a dining area
  • communal lounges and gardens for socialising

Care homes vary in size – from smaller homes for just a few people to larger homes that can accommodate more than 100 people.

Who are care homes for?

Care homes can provide support for older and younger people with a range of conditions i.e.:

  • dementia
  • mental health problems
  • sensory impairments (deaf, hard of hearing, blind and deafblind)
  • significant learning disabilities
  • autistic spectrum disorder
  • alcohol and drug problems
  • eating disorders

What do care homes cost?

Care homes can be very costly. 

If you’re being funded by Leicestershire County Council, our standard residential rate from 8 April 2024 is £798 per week, however where an individual has more complex needs, we may pay up to £840 per week or, for a nursing care placement we will pay £957 per week.


If you choose a care home that costs more than we have allocated for your care, you or someone else will have to make extra payments to cover the shortfall. These are known as ‘top-ups’.

Self funder

If you are paying for your own residential care, you are known as a self funder and it’s likely that you will be charged a higher rate than that paid by the council.

Care homes may also charge a higher rate for short stays (respite) than they do for permanent care.

Out of county placements

For people who need to be moved to a care home outside the county of Leicestershire, Leicestershire County Council will pay the rates that apply in that local authority.

Annual inflationary reviews

Fees are reviewed on an annual basis taking into account wage inflation and the consumer price index (CPI).

Paying for a care home

The amount you pay depends on your level of need and the value of your income, savings and assets. You can ask us for a financial assessment to find out whether you might get some help.

You won’t have to sell your home in your lifetime to pay the cost of a care home and you may be eligible for a deferred payment agreement.

You won’t have to sell your home if it is still occupied by your spouse/partner or certain dependents. See more information under financial assessment for a care home.

If you’re planning for your future care and support needs, it’s important to get independent financial advice on how you can best meet those costs.

Choosing a care home

If you’re funding your own care you can choose your own care home.

You should make a list of local homes and visit a few to get an idea of what they’re like.

It’s worth taking time to find the right home. Try to visit the home to have a look round and talk to staff members. Some homes may invite you to spend the day there so that you can get a feel of what it’s like. You may be able to move in on a trial basis before you decide whether to stay.

Age UK have information and advice on what to look for when choosing a residential care home, including a checklist to download.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspects all care homes in England and Wales. We strongly recommend that you visit the CQC website for a named care home or homes in a particular area to check their rating and most recent inspection report.

Please note: some care homes can be registered and open for more than a year (or longer) before a CQC inspection/rating.

Search the NHS Choices website for:

Or find care homes in the Care Directory for Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Printed copies are available in GP surgeries and libraries.

Moving into a care home

Moving into a care home can be a difficult change. Age UK have got some useful tips on what you can do to make it easier.

There will be changes to your benefits when you go into a care home.

Problems with a care home

If you’re unhappy with the standard of care you or someone else is getting in a care home, speak to the care worker or manager of the care home. If you’re not happy with their response, contact Adult Social Care.

If you or someone you know is being abused by a care worker in a care home report it to Adult Social Care.

How can adult social care help

You can request a care and support assessment to understand your care needs better. We will talk to you about your options and agree whether moving to residential care is the best way to meet your needs.

You have the right to choose a care home that is able to give you the type of care that you need. The type of care you need will be identified in your care and support plan following your assessment.

Further reading