Care homes for older people

This section explains what a care home is, and looks at regulation.

This content applies to Scotland

Definition of a care home

Residential care homes are run by local authorities, voluntary organisations, NHS bodies, or organisations in the private sector. They usually consist of single or shared rooms and shared facilities with staff on site to assist with day-to-day tasks and personal care. Care homes vary greatly in the level of support they provide, and it is worth visiting a few before deciding which home would be most suitable. Nursing homes differ from residential homes in that they provide full time (that is, 24 hour) care by qualified nurses to clients suffering from 'sickness, injury or infirmity'.

Paying for a care home

Whether a care home resident has to pay some or all of the care home fees will depend on their individual circumstances.

The Care Information Scotland website has more information including a detailed page on paying for care home fees.

Further information

Residential and nursing homes are regulated against national care standards, whether they are owned and managed by local authorities, private companies or individuals. Further information about the national care standards can be found on the Care Inspectorate Website. Also, the Office of Fair Trading has produced guidance on unfair terms in care home contracts.

Last updated: 27 July 2020