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Residential Care

Residential care simply means - care given to people in a residential setting. This could mean anything from very independent living - such as retirement homes or sheltered housing right through to nursing homes depending on the individuals needs and wants.

Many people move into accommodation where they can get some level of care or support because of the difficulty of looking after themselves or because they have had an accident or sudden decline in health. They may have spent some time in hospital and be frightened to return to the isolation of their home. Getting care and/or support a residential setting can be a great option for many people but choosing to move out of your home is a very big step for most people, and something that should be thought about very carefully

Staying at home

Things that you should consider clearly include why you are concerned about continuing to live in your own home and what you can do about this in order to ensure that you are able to continue to live independently. There is a lot of information on this site and others that can help you put together a plan that will address your concerns. This can include using a care home as a short-term solution as part of a wider plan. Care homes routinely provide people with short stays to give them a break or some respite from their immediate problems. This can be a one-off or form a regular pattern of stays. Some Councils refer to this latter arrangement as Phased Care.

If you do feel that you have to move out or cannot return to your home there are other alternatives to care homes including sheltered housing for you to consider. Another alternative obviously may be to move to be with, or nearer, a friend or family member.

Different types of residential settings

Retirement homes Everyone has their own flat or house but there are also communal areas which are maintained for you, there are often 'wardens' on site and emergency call systems are in place should they be needed. Most people own their own accomodation on a leasehold basis.
Sheltered housing Sheltered housing is very similar to retirement homes, but often the phrase is used when it is rented accommodation which is provided by the local authority or a housing association.
Supported housing Supported housing provides accommodation and support for vulnerable people and people with a disability.   The accommodation can take a range of different forms, from a hostel, through to individual flats - the key element here is that support is provided rather than personal care. 
Extra care Extra care or assisted living means that there is more support available to you should you need it without you having to give up your independence. People still have their own separate accommodation, but can get extra support, technology and help when required.
Care homes Care homes provide accommodation and personal care (bathing, dressing, feeding), and will have someone available onsite to help you 24 hours a day.  
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