Introduction to residential care and nursing homes

If you need support that you cannot get in your own home, moving into a residential care or nursing home might suit you. The local Health and Social Care Trust can tell you about available services and how to get services.

Choosing a residential care or nursing home

You have the right to choose your residential care or nursing home. You should make sure the home you choose has the facilities, equipment and staff with the right training to meet your needs.

Assessing your care needs

 The Trust must assess your care needs and meet your needs within their available resources. Charities may also support people with specific disabilities.

Based on your assessed needs, the Trust will tell you how much they'll pay for your residential or nursing home care. If you want to live in a home that is more expensive, you might need to pay the difference.

Types of residential care or nursing homes

Some homes offer full time nursing care. Other homes support people with specific disabilities or medical needs. Staff in the local Trust will advise you about the type of home best for you.

Covering the cost

Health and Social Care  (HSC) professionals will assess your needs and help you find a suitable home.

They will assess your finances to work out what you can afford to pay for your residential or nursing home care. 

Temporary stays in a residential care or nursing home

You may need a temporary stay in a home to recover from an illness or as a break for you and your carer. You should also be able to stay temporarily to see if the home suits you. Some people also go to homes for day care.

How going into a home could affect your benefits

Moving into a home can affect the benefits you receive. It is important to claim all the benefits you're entitled to because you'll pay most of your benefits towards your residential care or nursing home fees. A temporary or trial stay in a home can also affect your benefits. 

Residential care and nursing homes and hospital

Sometimes you need to move to a home directly from hospital. On leaving hospital,  you have the right to choose the residential care or nursing home that best meets your needs.

You cannot be moved directly into a home against your will. Sometimes you'll need to go into hospital from a residential care or nursing home.

Residential care and nursing homes standards

In Northern Ireland, the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA) registers and inspects residential care and nursing homes. When you move into a home, they should tell you about the complaints procedure.

You can complain immediately to the home or the local Trust. If you aren't happy with their response, you can contact RQIA.

More useful links

Share this page

What do you want to do?
What is your question about?
Do you want a reply?
Your email address
To reply to you, we need your email address
Your feedback

We will not reply to your feedback.  Don't include any personal or financial information, for example National Insurance, credit card numbers, or phone numbers.

This feedback form is for issues with the nidirect website only.

You can use it to report a problem or suggest an improvement to a webpage.

If you have a question about a government service or policy, you should contact the relevant government organisation directly as we don’t have access to information about you held by government departments.

You must be aged 13 years or older - if you’re younger, ask someone with parental responsibility to send the feedback for you.

The nidirect privacy notice applies to any information you send on this feedback form.

Don't include any personal or financial information, for example National Insurance, credit card numbers, or phone numbers.

Plain text only, 750 characters maximum.
Plain text only, 750 characters maximum.

What to do next

Comments or queries about angling can be emailed to anglingcorrespondence@daera-ni.gov.uk 

What to do next

If you have a comment or query about benefits, you will need to contact the government department or agency which handles that benefit.  Contacts for common benefits are listed below.

Carer's Allowance

Call 0800 587 0912
Email 
dcs.incomingpostteamdhc2@nissa.gsi.gov.uk

Discretionary support / Short-term benefit advance

Call 0800 587 2750 
Email 
customerservice.unit@communities-ni.gov.uk

Disability Living Allowance

Call 0800 587 0912 
Email dcs.incomingpostteamdhc2@nissa.gsi.gov.uk

Employment and Support Allowance

Call 0800 587 1377

Jobseeker’s Allowance

Contact your local Jobs & Benefits office

Personal Independence Payment

Call 0800 587 0932

If your query is about another benefit, select ‘Other’ from the drop-down menu above.

What to do next

Comments or queries about the Blue Badge scheme can be emailed to bluebadges@infrastructure-ni.gov.uk or you can also call 0300 200 7818.

What to do next

For queries or advice about careers, contact the Careers Service.

What to do next

For queries or advice about Child Maintenance, contact the Child Maintenance Service.

What to do next

For queries or advice about claiming compensation due to a road problem, contact DFI Roads claim unit.

What to do next

For queries or advice about criminal record checks, email ani@accessni.gov.uk

What to do next

Application and payment queries can be emailed to ema_ni@slc.co.uk

What to do next

For queries or advice about employment rights, contact the Labour Relations Agency.

What to do next

For queries or advice about birth, death, marriage and civil partnership certificates and research, contact the General Register Office Northern Ireland (GRONI) by email gro_nisra@finance-ni.gov.uk

What to do next

For queries about:

If your query is about another topic, select ‘Other’ from the drop-down menu above.

What to do next

For queries or advice about passports, contact HM Passport Office.

What to do next

For queries or advice about Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs), including parking tickets and bus lane PCNs, email dcu@infrastructure-ni.gov.uk

What to do next

For queries or advice about pensions, contact the Northern Ireland Pension Centre.

What to do next

If you wish to report a problem with a road or street you can do so online in this section.

If you wish to check on a problem or fault you have already reported, contact DfI Roads.

What to do next

For queries or advice about historical, social or cultural records relating to Northern Ireland, use the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) enquiry service.

What to do next

For queries or advice about rates, email LPSCustomerTeam@lpsni.gov.uk

What to do next

For queries or advice about  60+ and Senior Citizen SmartPasses (which can be used to get concessionary travel on public transport), contact Smartpass - Translink.