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Welcome to birmingham.gov.uk

Residential Care - questions and answers

This page is known as www.birmingham.gov.uk/residentialcare

A link to the Birmingham Care Home Directory is available at the bottom of this page.

Residential care

Residential services provide care, support and accommodation. This might be in an ordinary house, for example with a family or friend, or in a larger, purpose-built unit.

We offer permanent residential care, a short-stay or a period of rehabilitation. People using residential services are supported to take a full part in daily life. This support can include help with personal care, advice, counselling and help with ordinary daily living activities.

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Who is eligible for residential care?

Older adults (65 and over) or adults aged from 18-65 years who have a physical, sensory or learning disability, or who need mental health services, may be eligible for residential care.

Before you receive residential services, a member of our staff from Adults and Communities will visit you and any carer involved with you. You will be asked about your needs and circumstances in a careful and sensitive way. This is called an assessment of need.

Not everyone is able to receive residential services but if you can, you will be able to look around at what is available, ask questions and gather information before you tell us your preferences.

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What is an Adult and Communities assessment?

To work out the type of help you need, an assessment will need to be arranged by a social worker and is divided into two parts.

Fair Access to Care Services (FACS) assessment: this assessment considers all your needs and decides if you need a care home with or without nursing or other services.

We have more information on this site about Fair Access to Care Services.

Care Assessment: if you have a Social Worker or health worker, their care assessment will tell you whether you meet the criteria for a residential care.

You would then have a financial assessment, 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 should ask if you are entitled to financial assistance before getting a care assessment.

If you need a place in a care home in an emergency you, or someone who is acting on your behalf, must contact Adult and Communities
and ask for an urgent assessment, before or immediately after the admission. You should not assume that the Council will pay the fees until the assessment has been completed.

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How much will I have to pay?

We 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 web page.

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Which care home can I choose?

Once, following assessment, you have met the criteria for residential care, you have a right to choose any care home, providing:

  • it is in England or Wales, and
  • it is registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC), and
  • there is a place available, and
  • it is suitable for you and meets your needs.

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How will Adults and Communities help me choose a care home?

Your social worker or health worker will advise you whether you meet the criteria for a place in a care home and then help you decide which home you want to move into:

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, 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).

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What else should I think about before making my decision?

The final decision is yours and you should carefully consider whether the home you have chosen best meets all your needs.

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 needs, such as a lift, assisted bath and easy access?

This is only a short list of things to consider; you can find more information about residential care homes in Birmingham through the Birmingham CareSearch web site.

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What happens when I move into the home of my choice?

Once decided, arrangements can be made for your move. Your social worker, with you, your family or friends and the home manager agree a date for your move.

The Placement or Residential Accommodation Agreement
Before you move you will be need to read and sign a placement agreement. This is also signed by a representative from the council, a representative from Health (if you are moving into a care home with nursing) and the home manager. It is a legal document that places responsibilities on each of the parties signing and it is an important protection of your rights.

The trial period
The first four weeks of your stay will be considered a trial period to decide if the home is suitable for you. You should not sell, or terminate, the tenancy of your home during the trial. Should you wish to leave, or if the home asks you to leave, the period of notice is seven days. The cost of care is not free for the trial period; you will still have to pay towards care. This contribution will be based on the benefits and other incomes/savings you have.

Towards the end of the trial period we will review the situation with you. 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, we will assist you in choosing another home, or possibly help you return home.

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What if I want to make a comment, compliment or complaint?

If you would like the services to be changed in some way to improve your stay, please inform the home manager. If you remain unhappy with the services or have a serious complaint you should contact your Adults and Communities Local Office or follow our complaints procedure. Both can be found via our Contacting Adults and Communities webpage.

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Where can I find more information?

To find out more about residential services, for yourself, a friend, partner or relative, please contact your nearest Adults and Communities Local Office or Neighbourhood Office. Both can be found via the Contacting Adults and Communities webpage.

If you have contact with a Community Nurse, he or she will be able to help you get in touch with the right person. You may also want to search the directory of care homes and care services on the Care Quality Commission website.

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Links to other Adults and Communities pages

Residential care - mental health services

Residential care - physical, sensory and learning disability services

Birmingham Care Services Directory