Care Information / Care home temporary stays
Care home temporary stays
You might choose a temporary stay in a residential care or nursing home to recover from an illness or as a break for you and your carer. You should also be able to stay on a temporary basis for a trial period to see if the care home suits you. Some people also go to care homes for day care as you may decide that this will give you the support you need.
What it can provide
A temporary stay in a care home can be a welcome break for you and for your carer, if you have one - this is sometimes called respite care. A temporary stay can provide:
  • care while you recover after an illness or a stay in hospital
  • support if you are newly disabled
  • a break (respite care) for you and/or your carer
  • a break if you live alone to allow you to continue to live independently
  • an opportunity to get to know a particular care home that suits your needs if you are thinking about permanent care

It is not always easy to arrange temporary care as there has to be a place free in the care home. However many care homes keep rooms just for short-term care.

You should make sure that the care home has the facilities and staff with relevant experience to provide the support for your particular disability or needs. It is a good idea to visit the care home first so you can see the facilities for yourself.
Funding temporary stays
If you can pay the complete cost of your temporary care, you can make your own arrangements. Care home fees vary a lot around the country so it is a good idea to approach several care homes.

You can ask your local council to assess you for respite care services. If they assess you as needing care they may be able to help pay for it. This may include the same means test as if the move was permanent.

You can ask your local council about their charging procedures. You may be able to claim Income Support towards the cost of your stay.

Carers are entitled to an assessment for their own health and well being needs. This may include help with short-term care for the person they look after.

  • Age Concern Fact Sheet - Paying for temporary care in a care home

    This factsheet explains how the local authority charging rules for a temporary stay in a care home differ from those for permanent care. A more detailed account of the charging rules can be found in Factsheet 10, Paying for residential care. It is aimed at individuals who are aged 60 and over.
What is a direct payment for care?
A direct payment for care is money paid by the local authority directly to a person whom it has assessed as needing care services. The local authority makes the payment instead of arranging services.

In practice direct payments are used by recipients to employ their own Personal Assistants to support them whilst living independently in their own homes. If your local council agrees that you need a temporary stay in a care home then you may be able to use your direct payments to pay for it.
Temporary stays with nursing
You can ask your health authority to assess you for respite care with nursing - if you are eligible for this type of care, your health authority should pay. You can ask your health authority for a copy of their eligibility criteria.
Day care
You may just be looking for day care in a care home either every day or one or two days a week to enable you to continue living in your own home.

Your local council can let you know about care homes offering day care services in your area. If you are assessed as needing day care services they can arrange to provide them for you.
Contact your Local Authority  

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