Most people prefer to live in their own homes for as long as they can. If you need a little extra help to do this there is a range of equipment and support that can help you.

However, if illness, disability or frailty make independent living impossible, a care home may be suitable.

Care homes provide:

  • accommodation
  • regular meals
  • personal care
  • emotional support
  • some also offer social activities and outings

Care homes with nursing

A care home with nursing might be more suitable if you need nursing care on a more frequent basis because of a disability, injury or illness.

The services they offer are the same as regular care homes but a qualified nurse is also on duty 24 hours a day.

All care homes for older people provide support with personal care, such as:

  • washing and bathing
  • taking medication

You usually have:

  • your own bedroom
  • your own bathroom and toilet facilities
  • a communal sitting room
  • a communal dining room
  • a communal garden

Finding a care home

Care homes must be registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC). The CQC regularly visits registered homes to check the facilities and standard of care. Inspection reports are available on its website. It is a good place to start your search.

The following organisations will also be able to help you work out which home would be best for you:

You can also search our Adult Support Services Directory for information:

Paying for care homes

Care homes can be expensive so it is important that you get independent advice before deciding.

People with over £23,250 in savings will have to pay the full cost of the permanent care home.

You can pay for your care home fees in various ways:

  • renting your property and using the rental income to pay for your placement
  • selling your home to release equity. You may be able to defer payments under this scheme which essentially means the council lends you the money with your home as security.

Several organisations can offer help finding independent financial advice on paying for a care home:

Age UK Merton
Telephone: 020 8648 5792 Monday to Friday 9am - 4pm

Society of Later Life Advisers helps those seeking advice on financial issues in later life find accredited advisers

Citizens Advice Merton advice line:
Morden - 0344 243 8430
Mitcham - 0808 278 7831
Monday to Friday 10am to 4pm

South West London Law Centres
Telephone: 020 8767 2777
Monday to Friday 9.30am - 5.30pm

The Law Society – to find an independent regulated solicitor

The Financial Conduct Authority regulates financial advisors and has a list on their website

Solicitors for the Elderly offers information and resources online, as well as a directory to find an independent regulated solicitor.

Support from us

If you are funding your care home we can give you information and advice to help you find a suitable place.

We can make care home arrangements for you if we decide you need a care home placement following a needs assessment.

If you do qualify for support from us and you choose a care home that costs more than your assessed needs, a third party (such as a family member or friend) will need to pay a regular top-up payment. Sometimes you may be able to able to make the top-up payments yourself.

Contact us

To find out more get in touch with our Adult Social Care First Response Team:
Telephone: 020 8545 4388, Monday to Friday 9.30am - 1.30pm