How to Get an Elderly Person into a Care Home?

  • October 20, 2023
  • December 15, 2023
  • Shaz Nawaz
  • 13 min read

The probability of needing more assistance with everyday activities and personal care increases with age. Often, this is difficult to manage at home. Under such circumstances, a care home is a reasonably good option. These homes provide people with the support that they require daily. Moreover, there are various types of care homes in the UK. For example, residential homes, nursing homes, specialist homes for those with dementia, and respite care. Now, the question arises how to get an elderly person into a care home? This guide covers all that and more.

First, let’s discuss how you can know when a care home is necessary. Then, we can move on to the process of getting your loved one into a care home.

What Indicates that a Care Home is Necessary?

Of course, deciding to move an elderly family member into a care home is difficult. It’s a tremendous step to take. Not only is it expensive, but you may also worry about its necessity. Additionally, you may have concerns regarding the environment. Encouraging your relative to consider other care options is also a hard task.

If your elderly relative is struggling to live by themselves, then a care home is a great option for them. You can alleviate some of these issues by getting support from family, friends, and paid carers. Another option is to make adaptations to the house that will help retain independence. After all this, if your loved one is still facing troubles, then it is better to choose residential care.

You can also consider using a needs assessment to determine if a care home is the right option. In case your family member requires complex medical care needs, then a nursing home is a better choice.

How to Get an Elderly Person into a Care Home

What are the Types of Care Homes?

After you decide that your family member must move to a care home, you need to think about which type of home is best for them. Following are the three main types of care homes:

  • Residential care homes
  • Nursing care homes
  • Specialist dementia care homes

Although most care homes are private, there are also homes that are run by council. Some of them are run by third sector organisations as well. So, how to get an elderly person into a care home?

Residential Homes

A resident living in a residential care home receives assistant and support around the clock. This includes eating, bathing, and dressing. Not only do they provide basic support for taking medications, but also social care. For example, activities. Usually, this is inclusive of all meals.

Nursing Homes

The difference between residential care homes and nursing homes is that nursing homes have qualified nurses. Essentially, these homes provide the residents with everything that a residential care home does. The experienced nurses provide colostomy bag care and dressing changes.

Specialist Dementia Care Homes

There are dedicated residential care places for those who have dementia called specialist dementia care homes. These homes not only provide the basic care needs, but the staff are specially trained to assist the dementia patients. They can help with the additional issues that dementia can cause. Even their settings and environment are designed to give a friendly atmosphere to the residents. Then, how to get an elderly person into a care home?

If you do not know which type of care home is the right choice for your family member, then you should reach out for advice. This way you can find a care home that meets the needs of your relative.

What is the Cost of Moving into Care Home?

Once you decide that moving your loved one to a care home is the best possible arrangement, it is time to consider how to pay. Surely, it is a common concern for people.

The costs of care homes vary, as it depends on the type of home you choose. The location, luxury, provision, and level of comfort matter in this regard.

You can also get a needs assessment, as it has a financial assessment element. Through this, you can determine if the local authority will contribute anything towards the care.

Usually, people pay for their own care. They can do so from their savings, with contributions from family members, or by releasing equity in property. So, how to get an elderly person into a care home?

You pay the care home fees on a weekly basis in most cases. Every care home has their own rules as to what this fee covers. For example, some will only cover accommodation, meals, and care. While others will also cover activities, facilities, and day trips.

How to Get an Elderly Person into a Care Home?

To clarify, you cannot force people to move into a care home. There is only one condition under which this is possible. If they do not have the mental capacity to make informed decisions, then you can move them into a care home without asking beforehand. Therefore, they must agree with the decision before you can move them. At least make them understand the reasons behind it.

When moving a person into a care home, the most important thing to do is involve them in conversations. It is frustrating and upsetting for elderly people when someone talks behind their back. They feel their opinions don’t matter and that they are not part of the decision-making process. By involving them from the beginning, you can make sure that they don’t feel left out and in the dark. As a result, they are more likely to cooperate with you.

Starting the Conversation

Initiating the conversation is difficult, but as you know, communication is key. It is best to talk in a private place. Both you and your family member should remain calm. Fellow family members can join the conversation, but make sure not to overcrowd them. Otherwise, they may feel like they are being ganged up on.

You should start with the positive aspects. Consider mentioning all the things your family member can still do by themselves. Then, move on to the things that they need help with. Communicate to them as gently as you can, but also make them understand that issues will only grow with time.

It is important to mention how worried you are about them. Do not simply focus on their shortcomings. So, how to get an elderly person into a care home?

Moreover, let them speak their mind as well. At the end of the day, the decision to move is also theirs. It is emotional and distressful. They may get upset and refuse to discuss it any further. In extreme circumstances, they may even walk out. If this happens, give them some space. You can bring this conversation up at another time. One that is more suitable for them.

Using the Right Language

You should avoid using any negative language when communicating with your elderly relative. Make sure to highlight the positive points of the care home. Also, mention the benefits they can get by living there. For example, if your loved one enjoys gardening, then mention the wonderful landscape of the care home. Or maybe the care home offers Zumba classes that your loved one may enjoy.

Furthermore, you should provide your relative with as many choices as possible when selecting the care home. As a result, they will feel in control and gain more independence.

Understanding their Perspective

If your relative refuses to move into a care home, then you should try to place yourself in their shoes. Ask them why they do not wish to move. Then, find solutions for their problems and concerns. Then, how to get an elderly person into a care home?

Maybe they will miss their family and friends. In that case, find a care home that allows visitors all the time or is nearby your home. Perhaps they will miss their pet. You can ask the care home if they allow pets to stay with the residents. Or maybe they will miss gardening. You should find out if the care at home offers gardening as an activity.

It is useful to search for local care homes in your area together. Here are some suggestions:

  • London care homes
  • Cheshire care homes
  • Kent care homes
  • Surrey care homes

You can make the right decision for your loved one by understanding their feelings and concerns. Do your best to empathise with them so that you can meet their needs in terms of care and support. Then, how to get an elderly person into a care home?

Reasons Why They Might Not Want to Move

It is not a guarantee that your relative will cooperate with you. Elderly people may refuse care for many valid reasons. One of the main reasons is their loss of independence. This is quite understandable.

Undoubtedly, change is scary. It is difficult for them to move to another place after living in their own home for so long. They are used to the comfort of the familiar surroundings. Not to mention they have their daily routine. Also, they can meet their family and friends whenever they want. All this changes once they move. Therefore, they may panic thinking about such drastic transformations in their life.

Another reason why your elderly relative may resist going into a care home is because they think of it as criticism. They do not see it as a suggestion out of concern, but rather that they can no longer take care of themselves properly. A lot of elderly people may pride themselves in thinking that they can live by themselves without any support.

Thus, it is difficult to explain to them why moving to a care home is beneficial. Especially if they have dementia or any other issues with their memory. Many people just do not want to accept the fact that they do not need support or care.

Finding the Right Care Home for Your Family Member

It is essential that you find the right care home for your elderly relative. This way, their transition into their new place is as smooth and efficient as possible.

You should find out about the different types of care homes. For examples, there are public care homes, privately owned care homes, and voluntary care homes. Your primary concern must remain the needs of your family member. Their personal care needs are unique to them. Therefore, you should search for care homes accordingly. So, how to get an elderly person into a care home?

Nursing care home is the right choice if your relative needs 24-hour support. If they have dementia, then the option of a specialist dementia home is also available.

Residential care homes are also an option. They provide an environment that is home-from-home. Such care homes offer activities, meals, and washing.

Please note that you should involve your family member at every stage of the moving process. Make sure to ask them about their preferences. For example, the type of facilities they would like to have. There is no need to worry, as the staff is going to help you every step of the way. Furthermore, they will support you in creating a personalised care plan that meets the needs of your loved one.

It is also important to visit the care home a few times before finalising it. You should talk to the management and staff. Take your family member with you so that they can ask any queries they may have regarding the place. Here are the essential factors to consider:

The Staff at the Care Home

Do the staff members behave in a friendly and welcoming manner? Are they interested in knowing your relative’s preferences and habits? Is it possible to have a conversation with the manager and take a tour of the building?

The Facilities they provide

Are surfaces and floors of the care home clean? Is everything, including furniture and carpeting, in good condition? Are there various food options available?

The Residents

Are the residents comfortable and taken care of? Do they socialise and enjoy themselves? Are they happy living in this care home?

The Activities they offer

Does the care home have a schedule for activities? Would your relative enjoy doing them? Is it encouraged to participate in them? Then, how to get an elderly person into a care home?

Preparing for the Move

After you make the decision to move, you must prepare for the move and plan it. It is essential that you are aware of your loved one’s feelings. Truly, it is a stressful time for you and your family members. You should listen to any concerns or doubts they may have.

Moreover, you should decide what they will take with them and what will get left behind. You can ask the care home if it is permissible to bring t personal items for their room. It is also ideal to make sure that they familiarise with the care home before they move in. Maybe take them for a walk around the building and grounds. It is better for them to know the place before they start living there. So, how to get an elderly person into a care home?

What to Consider on the Moving Day

The day has come to move. Of course, it is best to make the entire process as stress-free as you can. An ideal way to do so is by sticking to a schedule. Which will prevent any mishaps, and everyone will know what they must do.

It is likely that your relative may forget that they must move to a care home. In such a situation, stay calm. You need to remind them gently and explain why they are going. Please note that you should not use language that can cause distress. Also, avoid situations which may lead to conflict.

Once you reach the care home, you should help them add personal touches to their room. For example, put up their favourite photographs that bring them wonderful memories. Furthermore, ask the staff about the activities they offer so they can join them. Now, you know the answer to the question: how to get an elderly person into a care home?

Undoubtedly, it is hard to know the right time to leave your loved one there. It is surely an emotional moment. That is why many care homes advice leaving while they are busy eating or participating in an activity. Rest assured they are taken care of.


To summarise, with age, a care home can become necessary for your family member. Especially if they have dementia or any other issues with their memory. Surely, it is an emotional and challenging process to move them into a care home. Nevertheless, it is essential for them as they require constant and professional care. Remember, it is best to involve them in every step of the process. They are more likely to cooperate with you. Your loved one will no longer need to struggle with personal care and daily tasks at a care home.

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