Residential Care for older people
This information page is for older people who:
- may need a long-term or short-term stay in a care home or care home with nursing provision, and
- need help in paying the fees or
- would like their care provided in a local authority care home or care home with nursing.
You can find more information about residential care homes in Birmingham in the latest Birmingham Care Homes Directory.
Adults and Communities Assessment
To work out the type of help you require, an assessment will need to be arranged by a social worker and is divided into two parts:
- a fair access to care services assessment; this considers all your needs and decides if you need a care home or care home with nursing or other services
- a financial assessment; to decide if you are eligible for financial assistance towards the cost of a care home or care home with nursing, and if so, how much you will have to contribute toward the cost of your care. For details on the cost of residential care, please see our Accommodation Charges page.
If you have a social worker or health worker, their care assessment will tell you whether you meet the criteria for a place in a care home or a care home with nursing provision. You would then be financially assessed to decide how much you will have to pay toward the costs of residential care.
If you do not have a social worker or health worker you may want to inquire whether you would be eligible for financial assistance before asking for a care assessment.
If you need a place in a care home or care home with nursing provision in an emergency, you, or someone on your behalf, must contact Adults and Communities and request an urgent assessment before or immediately after the admission. There should be no assumption that the Council will pay the fees until the assessment has been completed.
If the assessment shows that you are eligible (you qualify) for residential care, you have a right to choose any care home or care home with nursing provision, providing:
- It is in England or Wales.
- It is registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC)
- There is a place available.
- It is suitable for you.
How much will you have to pay?
The Council will make a financial assessment to work out how much you will have to pay toward the cost of your care. For more details, see the leaflet Care Home Contributions, available for download at the bottom of this page, or view our Accommodation Charges page.
How Adults and Communities will help you choose
Your social worker or health worker will advise you following assessment whether you meet the criteria for a place in a care home or care home with nursing provision and then help you to decide which home you want to move into.
You will be made aware of different types of homes available:
If you meet the criteria for care homes, these are:
- local authority homes; private homes; voluntary or charitable homes; housing association "Housing with Care"; small homes (less than four residents).
If you meet the criteria for care homes with nursing provision, these are:
- private homes; voluntary or charitable homes.
You will also be provided with information about homes in the area of your choice (within Birmingham). While you may visit as many homes as you wish, your social worker or health worker will assist you to make arrangements to visit up to three homes, which may include staying at a home for the day (free of charge in contracted homes).
Making your decision
While your social worker or health worker can provide all the information mentioned here, the final decision is yours.
Because the decision is an important one, you should carefully consider whether the home you have chosen best meets all your needs.
The following points may help in making your decision:
- First impressions - do the staff and manager appear welcoming? Do the other residents look happy and cared for? Does it feel homely?
- Location - are the grounds / gardens attractive? Will your friends or relatives be able to visit you easily? Are there shops and amenities nearby.
- Life within the home - Are the bedrooms equipped to meet your needs and can you bring personal items with you? How are residents involved in decisions about life in the home? Look at a sample food menu - is there adequate choice?
- Personal care - is the home able to meet your specific cultural requirements? Are visitors welcome at any time? Does it have facilities you need, such as a lift, assisted bath and easy access?
Please talk the information over with your social worker or care manager, relatives and friends, or obtain other written material (for example from Age UK) before making your final decision.
Moving in to the home of your choice
The Placement Agreement and Contract
Once you have made a decision, arrangements can be made for your move into your new home. Your social worker or health worker will, together with you, your family or friends and the home manager agree a date for your move.
Placement or Residential Accommodation Agreement
Just before you move you will be asked to read and sign a placement agreement. This will also be signed by a representative from Adults and Communities, a representative from health (if you are moving into a care home with nursing) and the home manager or owner. It is a legal document that places responsibilities on each of the parties signing and it is an important protection of your rights. You cannot move in until the placement agreement is signed.
The first four weeks of your stay will be considered a trial period which allows both you and the home's staff to decide if it is suitable for you and whether you wish to stay. During this period you should not sell, or terminate, the tenancy of your home. Should you wish to leave, or the home asks you to leave, during the trial period, the period of notice is seven days. In either case please contact your social worker or health worker. The cost of care is not free for the trial period. Although your property will be disregarded for the first 12 weeks of your stay, you will still have to pay a contribution towards care during this period. This contribution will be based on the benefits and other incomes/savings that you have.
Toward the end of the trial period we will review the situation with you, the home manager, your social worker or health worker and your relatives and friends. This meeting will decide if the home meets your needs and if you wish to remain at the home.
If you decide to move, or it is decided that your needs can only be met in another home, your social worker or health worker will assist you in choosing another home, or possibly help you return home.
Suggestions or complaints
If you would like the services to be changed in some way to improve your stay, please inform the home manager and if necessary ask to use their complaints procedures. If you are unhappy with the services or have a complaint you should contact your Adults and Communities social care worker or the Registration and Inspection Team.
For Residential Homes, phone 0121 600 5720
For Nursing Homes, phone 0121 600 5730.
If you are staying in a home run by Adults and Communities you may also use our complaints procedure. If you are still unhappy with the service provided, and this is covered by the contract, you may ask for a mediator to be appointed to resolve the dispute with the home or with Adults and Communities. Failing this an arbitrator may be appointed and finally, in exceptional circumstances, you may seek redress through the courts.