People's concerns about moving into care are very justified as it is a big step to admit that you cannot manage at home anymore and need to have care provided by others. But, when there is no other option, other than being cared for by others in a home, it is important to find a care home that will meet their needs while respecting their privacy and dignity.

It is very important to visit a selection of homes before making your final choice. There are a usually several to choose from, so people can generally find one that suits them and their immediate family.

Residential or Nursing Care – What’s the difference?

When a person needs a level of care over and above what can be practically provided by home care or nursing agencies, they need to consider the question of which type of care do they need?

There are two types of care, Residential and Nursing and the difference depends upon the level of care being provided.

Residential care usually comprises of living accommodation and meals together with personal care, help and supervision with medication and someone on call at night.

Nursing care is along the same lines as that provided in a residential setting with the addition of constant nursing care by specialist nursing staff on an ongoing basis. This type of care is likely to be required by people who are bedridden or very frail and who need regular nursing attention.

Funded Nursing Care - formerly Registered Nursing Care Contribution (RNCC)

When a person is assessed as needing nursing care, is a resident in a Registered Nursing Home and is receiving Registered Nursing Care, there is a Funded Nursing Care (FNC) contribution available. This is payable to the Nursing Home towards the cost of this care whether the care is being funded by the local authority or the resident themselves. FNC is not paid if a person is receiving nursing care at home or in a care home not providing nursing care as these residents will have their needs taken care of by their district nurse.

In Scotland, there is a payment towards Personal Care and a further contribution if nursing care is required but if the additional monies are paid for nursing care then this cancels out the right to claim for Attendance Allowance.

The rates differ depending upon which part of the UK you live:

* A previous banding system existed prior to October 2007 and for those assessed as being 'high need' and in receipt of the higher rate contribution will continue on this basis according to current guidelines unless they are reassessed to a lower rate. If this occurs, the rates applying to the new system will apply.

Section 117 of the Mental Health Act 1983 (MHA)

Persons who have been detained under certain sections of the Mental Health Act are entitled to free aftercare under Section 117. This applies to people who have been detained under sections, known as 'treatment' sections of the Act and these sections are 3,37,45A,47 or 48.

The provision of free aftercare is to try to provide the help and support they need to cope and to try to prevent them having to return to hospital. This care begins when they leave hospital and cannot be ended without a discharge meeting when the section is formally discharged, therefore if a person was under Section 117, this will remain the case until they have had this meeting.

Local authorities cannot charge for residential accommodation for people who are under Section 117 aftercare services and if, you have been charged for services which you were already eligible for due to being under Section 117, you may be able to reclaim your money. You should start by writing to the authority in question and if they do not refund your money, you should seek legal advice.

For further help and advice concerning your eligibility to NHS Continuing care funding and how to obtain the help you need, contact us or use our FREE HELPLINE on 0800 0699 784 for further information.