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Types of residential care and nursing home

There are hundreds of residential care and nursing homes in Northern Ireland offering many different types of services. Your local Health and Social Care Trust can help you to find somewhere that meets your needs.

Meeting your needs

Some homes offer full-time nursing care, others support people with a specific disability or medical need. Homes are run by local Trusts, private businesses or voluntary organisations. The Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA) has a list of all registered homes in Northern Ireland or your local Trust can help you find a home to meet your needs.

Residential care homes

You may need to go into residential care if you can no longer manage in your own home. Services you should expect in residential care include:

  • meals and accommodation
  • help with personal care like bathing and dressing
  • staff available 24 hours a day
  • physical and emotional care
  • care through short illnesses

Nursing homes

If you have a disability or illness that means you need nursing care on a frequent basis then a nursing home might be more appropriate for you. A qualified nurse will be on duty 24 hours a day. You have the right to choose your nursing home but it must meet your needs. If you live in a nursing home and have assessed nursing needs, your local trust will pay £100 per week towards the fees to cover the cost of the nursing element. Some people will have the full cost of their care paid for by their local Trust. This is called 'continuing health care'.

Hospital staff, your local doctor (GP) or social worker, can help arrange an assessment if you think you qualify.

Specialist homes

You may need to move into a home that provides specialist care for your particular disability or needs. This might include specially trained staff or adapted facilities. Your local Trust or the RQIA will have lists of specialist homes or ones that might offer services appropriate to your needs. Voluntary organisations can also help you find the right home.