End of life care
Care in a care home
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You can receive end of life care in a care home, if you wish. There, trained staff should be available to look after you day and night. They can provide the same type of care you may have been receiving at home, such as help with washing, dressing and providing meals.
Some care homes provide skilled nursing care to residents when they need it. These are sometimes called nursing homes, and they are suitable for people who have a disability, a serious long-term condition or very restricted mobility.
Care homes can be run by:
- voluntary organisations
- private individuals
- private companies
- the local council
You can talk to your local council's adult social care services department, GP or district nurse, palliative care team, or your hospital doctor or nurse to find out what is available in your area.
When considering a care home, you should ask about its experience and support in providing end of life care. Questions to ask include:
- what does the Care Quality Commission (CQC) say about the service?
- do the care home staff receive regular end of life care training?
- what are the arrangements for care and support from the GP and community nurses, both for routine care and for emergencies?
- does the care home participate in a service improvement programme run by local health or social care services?
- is the care home accredited for the quality of its service by the Gold Standards Framework or other accreditation system that's approved by the Care Quality Commission?
Your care may involve the local hospital's palliative care team, the local hospice team, your GP, community nurses and district nurses.
You can find care homes in your area with QC's care homes directory.
If you are eligible for local authority funding, it might cover all or part of the cost of a care home. If the care home costs more than the council is prepared to pay, you or your family will have to pay the difference.
If you choose to receive end of life care at home, in a care home or in a hospice, you should be assessed for NHS continuing healthcare.
Continuing healthcare is professional care given to meet the physical or mental health needs of adults with a disability, injury or illness over an extended period of time.
NHS continuing healthcare means a package of care that is arranged and funded by the NHS, so it's free of charge to the person receiving the care. This is sometimes called "fully funded NHS care".
Read more about what you can expect from end of life care.
Page last reviewed: 18/10/2021
Next review due: 17/10/2024