When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

Care homes

Some care homes  provide personal care while other provide care and nursing services. Personal care includes:

  • help with washing, bathing and showering
  • help to manage continence
  • help to take medication.

First steps if you are thinking about a care home

Contact social services at your local Health and Social Care Trust. They will check what your needs are. 

You may want to talk to someone at Age NI before your assessment so you understand what will happen. Contact AgeNI on 0808 808 7575.

Who decides if you need care?

Social services will suggest the best form of care for you. This could include:

  • having care provided in your own home
  • moving to a care home for a short period of time
  • moving to a care home permanently.

Social services should arrange a care placement for you if they think you need to move out of your home. The Trust can recommend that you should move into a care home. But, they should take your wishes into account and the final decision should be yours. 

Speak to Age NI if you think your feelings are being ignored. 

Moving to a care home: temporary or permanent?

Care homes can provide permanent or temporary accommodation. Temporary stays can:

  • allow you to recover after an illness
  • give you and your carer a rest from each other
  • let you try out living in a care home to see how you like it.

You may be able to get help from benefits to cover the housing costs on your main home if you plan on moving back there.  

Finding a care home

If you are going to move into a care home, you should be allowed to decide which one, so long as it:

  • is suitable for your assessed needs;
  • does not cost much more than the care homes that social work already pay for in your area;
  • is prepared to accept the contract from your social work department.

The Elderly Accommodation Counsel's website  has a tool to check what accommodation is in your area. 

Talk to Social Services if you'd like to move into care in a different part of Northern Ireland or in Great Britain. 

Paying for a care home

You may be able to get help to pay for your stay in a care home. This depends on your income. 

The Trust does a financial assessment to see if you have to pay for your care.  This assessment can look at assets, like the value of your home, if you are going to living in a care home permanently. 

You can find out more about the financial assessment on NI Direct.