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Care Guides > Everything You Need to Change Your Care Home

Everything You Need to Change Your Care Home

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People choose to move care homes for a variety of reasons. Your care needs may have increased and the home can no longer accommodate your requirements or, it might be that your new care home doesn’t feel like the right fit.

We’ve outlined the steps you need to take to change your care home below.

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In this article:

  1. How do you move from one care home to another?
    1. Check your current contract
    2. Requesting a needs assessment
    3. Finding a new care home
    4. Arrange a visit and make a decision
  2. Why do people change care homes?
    1. The home doesn’t feel like the right fit
    2. Your care needs have increased
    3. Your current home is no longer affordable
    4. Other circumstances

How Do You Move From One Care Home To Another?

When you move care homes, you’ll repeat the same process as you did the first time. However, some steps may be added, such as checking your current contract, and the type of care you’re looking for may have also changed.

We’ve listed the main steps below.

1. Check your current contract

If you’re a self-funder (so you pay for your own care), you’ll want to read through the contract you’ve signed with your current home before making any decisions.

There may be a notice period and other terms and conditions relating to the cancellation process.

If your care is fully funded or partially funded by your local council, the contract will instead be between the care home and social services. In this case, you’ll need to contact your local council to learn the next steps.

Care home residents looking at a laptop computer

2. Requesting a needs assessment

If you or your loved one’s care needs have increased, social services can re-assess you through a care needs assessment. This assessment will determine the best course of action and what care is now required.

After this assessment, your or your loved one’s needs will be mapped out in a care plan. Depending on their circumstances, this might also uncover additional funding support available to them, such as NHS continuing healthcare or NHS-funded nursing care.

A care needs assessment isn’t essential though, and you may already know what type of care is now required. For example, you may have previously been in a residential care home but would now benefit from nursing care due to heightened medical needs.

3. Finding a new care home

Next, it’s time to begin looking for your new home.

Think about why you’re moving from your current home. Is it because they’re no longer able to meet your care needs? Do you want a broader range of facilities and activities available to you? Do you want your pet to be able to move in with you? Do you need a cheaper home?

To make this process easier, we have a guide explaining the process of choosing a care home. You can also speak with our care experts, who will provide you with compassionate and knowledgeable support while guiding you through each stage of the care-seeking process.

4. Arrange a visit and make a decision

You can contact suitable care homes to arrange visits. When on a visit, be sure to find out as much information as possible, including:

  • Is there a waiting list for places? (If you aren’t in a rush to move, it’s always worth joining these waiting lists if you’re particularly keen on a certain home or are still looking at other options)
  • What are the bedrooms and other facilities like?
  • What social activities and events are on offer? Do they have a dedicated activities and/or lifestyle team to offer these activities and events?
  • Is the home accessible for people with limited mobility?
  • Is the food menu nutritious and varied?

If you’re helping your loved one choose a care home, it’s important you discuss the homes you’ve visited and their preferences.

We’d recommend you visit a home to form an initial opinion about it, before organising a second visit if you or your loved one liked it the first time around.

Which home you pick will depend on factors such as availability, personal preference and whether all the boxes have been ticked.

Why Do People Change Care Homes?

The home doesn’t feel like the right fit

No matter how long you spend researching care homes and deciding, you may still end up in a home that doesn’t feel right.

So many factors go into the care home experience that even if you did your homework, it’s still impossible to predict whether this new environment will suit you in the long term.

You may feel your needs aren’t being properly catered for, or the activities on offer aren’t in tune with your personal interests, or it could be something else, such as not fitting in amongst the other residents.

Your care needs have increased

Older adults’ care needs often increase as time goes on. It may be the case that when you first moved into a care home, personal care such as helping you with washing and dressing was enough on a day-to-day basis. Whereas, you now require additional care that the staff in your current home can’t provide, or doesn’t have the necessary facilities to do so.

If you now require medical support, a nursing care home may be the best option, while if you have a condition such as dementia, a dementia care home can look after you in a safe environment.

If your care needs increase, be sure to first check whether your current home can provide an increased level of care.

Your current home is no longer affordable

If your money runs out, you might not be able to afford care home fees in the home you’re currently living in.

If this happens, you can undergo a financial assessment to see if you now qualify for funding support from your local authority. A financial assessment immediately follows a care needs assessment, and you can book this here.

Other funding may also be available, such as NHS continuing healthcare and NHS-funded nursing care (for people receiving nursing care in a nursing care home). You could also get a top up fee from a family member or friend.

Financial support is available to eligible self-funders as well, such as Attendance Allowance.

In some cases though, being unable to afford your current home will mean you’ll need to move to a less expensive one.

Brookwater House Care Home in London

Other circumstances

If you’re paying your own fees and have mental capacity (meaning you can make decisions for yourself), you can technically leave your care home whenever you like, depending on what’s written in your contract.

However, if you’re planning to move back to your home or live with a family member, the house must be properly adapted for your needs and you must have a suitable caregiver who can provide the daily care and support you require.

Explore All Possible Angles Before Changing Care Homes

If you feel that you want to move care homes, we recommend taking the time to explore every possible avenue first.

Finding a care home can be difficult, and transitioning to a different home can be stressful for you and your loved ones.

Speak to care home managers, family and friends for advice and to see whether changing rooms, routines or care services might solve your problem, without the need to move.

You can also get in touch with our care experts for compassionate and knowledgeable advice on whether moving care homes is the best choice. If it is, we can help you find your next home.

Lottie matches care seekers with the best care homes for their needs. You can request a free care home shortlist from our care experts, who will share homes matching your budget, location and type of care needed. You can also search for a care home through our easy-to-use directory.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it easy to change care homes?

The process of changing care homes is similar in many ways to when you or your loved one originally moved into the care home you now plan on moving out of.

In some cases, your current care home or your local council may be able to assist with the move, including helping you transport personal belongings.

How long does it take to adjust to long-term care?

The time taken to adjust to long-term care will vary from person to person. On average, this adjustment process can take between three and six months.

How long does it take somebody with dementia to adjust to a new care home?

Often, the amount of time for somebody with dementia to adjust to a new care home will depend on the stage of their condition. For example, people with late-stage dementia may be unable to fully grasp their new surroundings.

It could take somebody with dementia weeks, months or even longer to adjust to living in a care home.

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