Despite being used to cover a range of different care facilities, the term ‘care homes’ tends to be used interchangeably between each. Whether you’ve been seeking care homes in Essex or your surrounding area, or you’re just starting to investigate which facility may be best for you or your loved one, we’re digging a little deeper into what the key differences are between residential, and nursing care homes.
Residential Care Homes
Residential care homes refer to a home designed to provide a secure and safe space for residents, with 24-hour personal care and support to aid daily life. While staff are trained to care for each resident, the care tends to revolve around personal care, such as eating, drinking, dressing, washing, and taking prescribed medications. These homes are designed to provide support with living day to day life, even down to brushing hair. It is a form of assisted living designed for those who may not be able to cope with living independently, or where support isn’t available while at home.
In most residential homes, residents receive tailored care plans dependant on what they need. In most cases, the resident won’t need 24-hour medical surveillance or support, but help with changing dressings or in situations where specific medications need to be administered, district nurses will be called in.
Nursing homes are typically similar to residential homes, but with around-the-clock nurses and specialist equipment on hand. The daily care will be more extensive than that of a residential home, and staff will be skilled nurses or supervised by them. Some care homes have nurses that specialise in certain illnesses or disabilities, such as Dementia and Alzheimer’s.
Nursing homes usually have medical equipment on hand, including hoists, specialist beds and other equipment that may be necessary. These homes are typically best for residents that require constant care or medical support, such as those with complex ailments or long-term illnesses.
Alongside residential and nursing homes, there are a few other kinds that you could consider for yourself or your loved one. They are typically more specialist, with the exception of Independent Living, and are as follows:
Dual-registered care homes are designed to provide both residential, and nursing home-style care. They are best for those with conditions that are getting progressively worse, as care can be administered throughout the transition phase without having to move from one home to another. This is particularly important for avoiding upset and disruption to the routine, helping to keep things as stress-free as possible.
- Independent Living
Independent living facilities are similar to residential care homes but offer more self-contained apartments and flats to encourage independence in residents. Generally, these homes are ideal for those that don’t need constant medical care, but who may benefit from being nearby, and can take advantage of facilities just as a normal residential home, such as meals, activities, use of the grounds etc.
- Elderly Mentally Infirm (EMI)
This particular type of care home is designed for those with mental health illnesses or disorders, impairments or other vulnerabilities. In most cases, EMIs will be a ‘wing’ of the main home, dedicated to providing support to those with conditions such as Dementia, Alzheimer’s and other mental health issues.