We understand that you may have many questions when you or a loved one are considering a care home. Our helpful and knowledgeable team are here to offer you free advice on finding the right home, care types and funding advice. We have listed below the most frequently asked questions which may answer some of your queries.

Do I have to pay extra for entertainment?

No. The in-home entertainment, events and activities are based on the interests, preferences, and needs of residents. Therefore, we consider the range of lifestyle options available to be a part of their care planning in which good physical, cognitive, and social engagement can directly improve health and wellbeing.

Why do fees vary based on duration?

A premium is added to the cost of respite care or a short stay. These residents enjoy all the benefits on offer to those who call any of our homes their permanent home.

Will I have to sell my home?

If you have a partner who still lives in your home, then your home won’t be included in the means test. However, if you live alone in the property, it will be considered as part of your total capital assets. This is likely to put you over the threshold for support.

While many people who move into full-time residential care do sell their homes, it’s important to consider all the options (for example, renting out your home) and to speak to an independent financial advisor.

Does anything get disregarded?

Benefits and credits are disregarded, such as the State Pension and Attendance Allowance. Disability Living Allowance is also disregarded, as are War Widows’ special payments. The value of any personal possessions is excluded as long as they were not bought with the intention of avoiding residential care charges.

What is deprivation of assets?

Some people deliberately give away assets or income to put themselves in a better position to obtain local authority help with care fees. However, if the assessor believes there has been deliberate deprivation of assets, they may still factor the assets into the assessment.

What happens if my money runs out?

If you are funding your own full-time residential care and your capital is falling towards the upper capital limit, ask your local authority for an assessment of your care needs as you may be eligible for funding. This can take some time to arrange, so be sure to discuss it with your care home and the local authority well in advance of your capital falling below the upper limit.

How is my income assessed?

Your local authority will only look at your income (including pensions and savings). They will not consider the income of members of your family.

How will your income and capital affect the funding you receive?

The amount of capital you have:

  • Less than £14,250 – Your capital is disregarded and you will
    be entitled to the maximum support
  • Between £14,250 and £23,250 – You are entitled to some financial help
    but will be expected to pay £1 per week
    for every £250 or part of £250 you have
    over £14,250.
  • More than £23,250 – You will be expected to pay for all
    of your care yourself, known as self-funding.

Capital limits vary from region to region

Contact the social services department of your local authority to find out whether you’re eligible for funding. If you have savings and assets of more than the amounts shown below, you’ll have to pay for your own care:


Savings threshold for local authority funding in 2019/20




£24,000 (care at home) or £50,000 (care in a care home)



Northern Ireland


What about jointly held capital?

If you have jointly held capital, you and the other joint owners are treated as having equal interests. There is an exception for jointly owned property, which is calculated in terms of the present sale value as the part you own could be sold with the proceeds going to you. If you have a joint bank or building society account with your partner, you will be assessed as having half of the balance of the account.

What are you entitled to?

To work out whether you qualify for state funding and how much you may be entitled to, the local authority financial assessment, or means test, will look at:

Your regular income, including:

  • Pensions
  • Benefits
  • Earnings

Your capital, including:

  • Cash savings
  • Investments
  • Business assets
  • Land
  • Property (your home will not be included if your partner still lives there).

How do you organise funding?

The first step is for your local authority to assess your care needs. They will create a report about your needs and the type of care that would best suit you. To learn more about the different types of funding please download our care fee guide.

How much does care cost?

The cost of care can vary a great deal and depends on such factors as the type of support you need and the location of your care home.

What influences the cost of care?

  • Whether you are receiving permanent or temporary care
  • Whether the home is run by the local authority or an independent provider
  • Your county or region, for example, the personal care you receive in a care home in Scotland is free if you’re over 65
  • Individual care home fees

Do your care homes have double rooms?

Each of our homes benefit from double rooms that can accommodate couples, close friends or relatives that wish to share, or single residents searching for a bit of extra space. Contact your chosen home to find out more about the current availability of extra-spacious accommodation.

Can I bring my pet?

Most pets are welcome to visit for the day by arrangement with the Home Manager.

Do I need to book a visit to look around?

You should be able to visit a home at any time – we advise visiting more than once and at different times, so that you can get a clearer understanding of what it is like throughout the day. If you wish to meet the Home Manager during your visit, you might want to consider booking in advance to help ensure they are available when you attend.

Are there any activities on offer?

Every one of our homes has a dedicated Health and Wellbeing Coordinator to plan regular events and entertainments. Examples of activities can include: physical light exercise, reminiscence style activities, sensory musical performances or cognitive activities like gardening and baking. Trips out are also organised as our homes have access to a fleet of private minibus, available to take group outings when requested by residents.

Can residents spend time outside?

All of our homes have an outdoor area for residents to enjoy the outdoors. This could be a terrace or landscaped garden, even woodland in the grounds for residents to relax in. Many bedrooms also offer a private ground floor terrace or upper floor balcony. Homes offering specialist dementia care also benefit from secure outdoor areas so residents can spend time outside in safety. A private minibus is also available to take residents out on day trips away from the home.

How good is your hospitality?

At Caring Homes we are proud of our great hospitality. All of our care homes have a dedicated chef to prepare fresh meals and offer a well-balanced diet that is tailored to each of our residents’ needs. Menus offer a variety of healthy foods for residents to enjoy, as well as home-made cakes for afternoon tea time.

Who decides on the menus?

Our Head Chef and the team have many years of cooking experience. They craft their nutritionally balanced menus using seasonal produce, and are guided by the feedback provided to them from our residents during their monthly hospitality meetings and individual care plans.

Do you offer Room Service?

Yes, we do and there is no tray charge for this service. Friends and family can join whenever you wish.

What are your visiting times?

All of our homes operate an open door policy. Family and friends are always welcome and can see their relatives and loved ones as often as they wish at times that are most convenient for them.

What is the ratio of staff to residents?

As everyone’s needs vary, we will assess each individual and agree on the level of support and care required with each resident, family members, and healthcare professionals where appropriate.

How long can people stay in a care home for?

The length of time people spend in a care home varies according to their needs and preferences. Our homes offer permanent care to suit your needs or perhaps a respite stay might be required during a period of convalescence after being in hospital. Day Care is also available at many homes to ensure care can continue when a regular carer is unavailable.

What is a care pathway?

Care homes that provide a combination of residential, nursing and dementia care are said to offer a ‘care pathway’. Homes that offer all three are described as offering a ‘complete care pathway’. Essentially; having a care pathway can allow a resident to remain at the same home should their needs change, without having to relocate to another service.

What types of care do you provide?

Care can broadly be divided into three types: Nursing, Residential and Dementia. Some of our homes specialise in particular care types, while many others offer a care pathway – with a range of care types catered for all in one place. All of our care homes display the Care Types they provide on their webpages, to help you understand the care on offer. Find out more about care types.

What type of Care Home should I look for?

Your GP or your local Social Services team can help you figure out what type of care provision you might require. You can also visit our Finding the right care page for more advice about the process, and to help you determine what your next steps might be – there’s also a free checklist you can use to help you make your decision.

Residential or Nursing – what’s the difference?

Residential care offers housing for those living independently who wish to reside in an environment with other people as companions and friends. Support is on hand if required, but personal care is not a constant need. Nursing care means that qualified nurses are on hand to prescribe medication and offer support and assistance as required for individual care needs, which are more personal in nature.

What qualifications do your Care Teams have?

All members of our care teams are given the training and support needed to help them provide the highest standards of care.

Caring Homes has been providing care for over 25 years. Every team member receives our unique ‘Living in my World’ dementia training which is accredited by City and Guilds.

It highlights the importance of meaningful activities and a stimulating environment for people living with dementia, as well as addressing clinical aspects of care.

The ‘Food in my World’ training, also accredited by City and Guilds provides the hospitality team and chefs with the skills and knowledge to stimulate senses and increase creativity in the cooking and presentation of food. This can provide a much-improved dining experience for residents living with dementia and or dysphagia.

Do all Home Managers have care experience?

All of our Care Home Managers are personally selected by Helena Jeffery, Founder of Caring Homes, both for their professional qualifications and their strong care experience. Providing quality personalised care is at the heart of everything we do, and our Home Managers are dedicated to delivering this level of service in our homes.

Do your homes offer good quality care?

The Care Quality Commission for England (CQC), Care Inspectorate for Scotland, and the Care & Social Services Inspectorate Wales (CSSIW) are responsible for regulating care services in the UK. Jersey and the Isle of Man each have Registration & Inspection departments to regulate care in these respective Crown Dependencies. They will carry out an unannounced visit of the home and rate the service they provide. All of our care homes display their current rating on their webpages to help you understand the care on offer. Find a care home..

Any questions?
Call us free 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Last year we helped over 5,000 families find the right care with free advice on anything from funding care to finding the right home and moving in.

We can help with advice on paying for care and how funding works. We can check availability in all of our homes and send you the latest brochure. If you'd like to meet our Home Manager, we'll book an appointment at a time to suit you.

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