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Do I need care?

We know that finding the right care can be a challenge

Find a care home

We’re here to provide whatever help you need

Finding care that is right for you

Caring for an older loved one at home can be an enjoyable and rewarding experience, but you may start to realise that they need more help and support than you can provide. Being aware of the signs to look for and understanding the options available will help you to feel more in control of the situation so that you can make the best decision for yourself, your family and your loved one when the time comes. 

Use the find a care home search tool to find a home near you.

Seeing the signs

Chances are, you will know when the time has come to seek out extra care support for your older loved one. They may be falling more often, or, if they are living with dementia, their condition may progress to a point where you find their behaviour too challenging.

Dementia can also lead to irregular sleep patterns. If your loved one lives with you, this may impact your sleep and that of your other family members. Add to that the pressures of caring for your loved one, and potentially juggling your caring role and another job, and you may find you reach an obvious tipping point.

Here are nine signs to look out for when considering care for your loved one.

Long-term care options

Our homes work with you and your loved one to undertake a full care needs assessment, often with input from social workers, care managers and GPs.

A first step is to ask your council’s social services department to do a free assessment. We can help put you in contact with your local authority.

Care home or care-at-home?

Care can be provided in various ways and in various settings. We want you to be informed about the benefits of moving to a care home, and to consider if home care (care-at-home) is appropriate. The comparison list below will help you make the right decision for you and your family.

Comparing care homes to care-at-home

Care HomeCare-at-home
Person-centred careIn Care UK care homes, there is no limit on the time we spend with your loved one. We believe in a person-centred approach to care, delivering care that’s personalised to each resident's needs, preferences and interests.Will learn about your loved one’s care needs and plan what is required, but time available can be limited because care is provided and paid for in time-slots.
Social interactionOur lifestyle teams run a wide range of group and one-to-one activities, all completely tailored to your loved one’s interests. This includes exercise classes, art, music, quizzes and connections with local groups and schools. Residents continue to make new friends in the home and in the local community.Unless the carer is employed to offer companionship, their time will not include activities or social interaction.
Quality food and nutritionOur homes have chef-led teams who provide delicious home cooked meals throughout the day, tailored to the needs and preferences of residents. Our teams are fully trained to adapt meals to conditions such as dysphagia, so everyone can enjoy a nutritious and tasty meal safely. Mealtimes are an important part of the day with emphasis on enjoying food and spending time with friends.If care includes cooking a meal, this will only be from the food that’s available at the time. The carer may be a good cook, but is unlikely to have professional chef experience or knowledge of nutrition.
Flexible care and continuityAt Care UK we believe that choice and dignity are key, so if your loved one would like a lie in, or a late night, that’s up to them. We review care on a regular basis and if needs change, then we adapt the care plan accordingly. Your loved one will be cared for by people they know and trust in familiar surroundings.Will vary from provider-to provider, but choice of carer, or what time to get up and to go to bed, will depend on availability of slots.
Keeping safeOur care homes have the latest safety features, including nurse call systems and alarms in every bedroom. We provide round-the-clock care and are only seconds away if help is needed – providing residents and their families with the ultimate peace of mind day and night.During their time with your loved one, a carer may be able to support them to get around their home. If they are at risk of falling they may need a live-in carer or other solution.

Tackling the subject of care

If your loved one is against moving into a care home it’s likely to be because they are afraid. They may have preconceived ideas about care homes, they may be scared of losing their individuality, or even of being forgotten about. What’s important is to be tentative when discussing it. Listen to their fears and reassure them that they would only move somewhere that was right for them, and where they would be happy. Focus on the positives of a care home and try not to rush things. Read more about preparing someone to move into a care home and the myths of living in a care home versus what it's really like.

More help and advice

What are the main types of care?

Understanding the type of care you need is an important first step in finding a care home that is right for you.

From expert dementia care and short-term respite stays to high quality residential and nursing care, our homes offer many different types of support to residents. To find out more about the care available at a home near you, get in touch with our care support team who will be happy to help.

Find out more about the types of care we offer


People living with dementia benefit from being in places that are familiar to them. However, sometimes it’s just not possible for a person to continue getting the level of care they need at home. When someone moves into a care home, we’d recommend bringing familiar objects or pieces of furniture in to make their room feel like home

Read about 6 benefits of living in a care home for people living with dementia.