Residential Care

As we age, living independently can come with its challenges. At Barchester, we have over 200 residential care homes throughout the UK - each thoughtfully designed to provide comfortable, compassionate, and fulfilling living environments. Barchester residential care homes are dedicated to supporting residents with their passions and interests while fostering a warm and inclusive social community.

An elderly gentleman and carer in Residential care

What is residential care? 

Residential care is 24-hour, long-term care offered in a care home. Predominantly, residential care homes are designed for elderly with low care needs, who need considerable assistance with day-to-day tasks.

Residential care homes offer a safe place for elderly people, who are looked after according to their needs, such as help with washing, mobility and medication. They're designed to be homely, with the opportunity to take up hobbies, enjoy regular activities, and facilitate older people in living meaningful lives.

Residential carers ensure that residents always have someone on hand to help with daily life activities. Each individual is treated as such, and has a tailored care plan inclusive of their individual dietary requirements, hobbies and life stories. Care homes are very much a community within themselves, and the opportunities for socialisation and group activities are hugely valuable in helping to combat loneliness.

Families of residents can also have peace of mind that their loved one is well cared for, and in a sociable and enriching environment. 

Benefits of residential care

There are a number of benefits to living in a residential care home for the elderly, ranging from the availability of regular activities to the comfort of knowing that there is always someone on hand for assistance.

Specialist care
Peace of mind for friends and family
Clean and comfortable environment
Regular activities for both physical and mental stimulation
types of residential care

Types of residential care

Strictly speaking, residential care homes are for people whose care needs are relatively low. At Barchester, our residential care is tailored to each individual, to ensure that they can live comfortable, independent and fulfilled lives. If circumstances ever change however, our individual care plans and well-trained teams can identify if a higher level of care is required, and can help to make that transition. For residents who require assistance with things like daily medication or dressings, our homes offer residential nursing care, with peace of mind that trained nurses are on hand 24-hours a day.
Respite or short-term residential care is another option, often giving carers at home a short break, or acting as a trial run before committing to a care home full-time. 
The difference between respite and residential care is purely time. Respite care is intended as a short-term stay, although often acts as a stepping stone into full-time care, whereas residential care is long-term, 24-7 care.

Planning for Residential Care

Planning to move a loved one into a residential care home can feel daunting, but there are a number of resources to help you. 

When to consider a residential care home

There are a number of factors to consider when it comes to deciding when it is the right time for your loved one to move into a residential care home.

Ultimately, the most important thing to consider is your loved one’s safety. It could be that they’re beginning to struggle with the layout of their current home - whether that’s using the stairs or getting to the bathroom unaided.

It might be that your loved one would benefit from consistent company, and a care home would prevent them from feelings of loneliness and boredom.

when to consider residential care homes

Paying for residential care

Residential care costs vary based on care requirements, location and a number of additional applicable factors.

The cost of residential care also varies entirely on the facilities and quality of life a care home offers. Purpose-built facilities, quality of food and the daily activities provided will all have an impact on the cost.

The cost of residential care covers everything from the physical accommodation, food and bills, to personalised care and psychological support which naturally comes with living in a care home.

You can read our full comprehensive guide to understanding the costs involved in care homes here.

If you need help understanding finances, you can talk to Barchester support.

paying for residential care
how to choose the right residential care facilities

How to choose the right residential care facility

Choosing the right residential care home will depend somewhat on the needs and wishes of your loved one. 

Location is a key factor to consider, as they might want to be close by to friends and family. Perhaps your loved one would prefer to be out in the countryside or amongst the hustle and bustle of a town or city. They might need to be close to their local doctors surgery, or within distance of a club or society that they’re already active in.

A welcoming residential care setting is extremely important when choosing a care home. You should consider the communal spaces and if they’re comfortable, homely and well-maintained. 

It’s also important to take a look at a proposed activity plan, to ensure that your loved one will have the opportunity to enjoy the things they love, and feel fulfilled and happy. Will there be the opportunity to take trips out into the local community or further afield? Is the activity schedule varied and engaging?

Ultimately, your loved one needs to feel at home, and so it’s important that you find somewhere which is comfortable and enjoyable.

Why choose Barchester residential care homes?

At Barchester, we believe that each person should receive care as unique as they are. We understand that the reassurance of having your loved one surrounded by caring people who value them for who they are, is imperative.

We strive to ensure that each of our residents is supported to continue their routines, enjoy their day-to-day, and can spend time doing the things that they love. 

At Barchester, a care specialist or care home manager will arrange to meet you and your loved one in the convenience of your own home, or at the care home to discuss a personalised care plan. This is tailored to the likes, dislikes and care needs of your loved one.


Facilities at Barchester residential care homes

At Barchester, we’re proud of the residential care facilities and environments we create for the people we support. Our homes lead the sector in purpose-built design, and we ensure that our rooms are spacious and airy. 

Our interior design gives a homely, yet elegant feel which is intended to make residents feel comfortable. We have our own specialist interior design team who ensure that our homes are continually updated, kept to standard, and provide the best environment possible for our residents.

Most of our homes have well-maintained outdoor spaces, which are kept in pristine condition by both our talented staff, and our green-fingered residents. 

Raised flower beds offer the opportunity for all residents to get involved in the garden, if they wish, and our outdoor spaces are great for hosting outdoor events. Often, community events are organised in our green areas, with covered spaces so both residents and the local community can enjoy the outdoors all year round.

When it comes to our food offering, we ensure that everything served is nutritious, varied and tastes great. We have our very own chef academy where all of our talented chefs are trained to adapt their skills to a care environment and to create dishes suitable for a wide range of dietary needs, with varying seasonal menus.

Many homes also have hair and beauty salons which allow our residents to enjoy a spot of pampering and to help continue the routines that they've always loved.

facilities at barchester care homes
activities at residential care homes

Activities at Barchester residential care homes

Meaningful activities such as outings, hobbies and community events are a really important part of life for our residents. They’re tailored to each person, and our dedicated activities team ensures that our residents are listened to. 

Our staff take time to learn about our residents’ hobbies and passions to ensure that they’re given the opportunity to do the things that they love. We invite families to input into their loved ones tailored plans, to ensure they have the opportunity to enjoy the things that they love. 

Our residents have the opportunity to go on outings to local places of interest, spend time in the local community, and experience events and performances. In the home, we have partnerships with companies such as the V&A Dundee and the English National Ballet, who work with us to provide trips and live virtual experiences for our residents. They also have chance to get involved in activities which encourage debate and reminiscence - something which is important for mental and social stimulation.

Gentle exercise, gardening, board and card games are some of the activities available all of the time to our residents, and our online platform for quizzes and activities is readily available too. Knitting and craft materials are on-hand, as well as fiction and non-fiction books, and up-to-date magazines and newspapers.

Learn more about meaningful activities in Barchester care homes

What our residents & families are saying about Barchester residential care services

"The difference in our grandmother in two weeks is incredible, she looks so fresh and stronger. The activities coordinator has spent time with her doing activities and making her stay so enjoyable. Seeing her smile again and interacting with the staff and residents has been wonderful."

Granddaughter of resident

"This is my aunt's first experience of a residential care home and despite her initial apprehension, both she and I have come to appreciate the very high standards of care, accommodation and facilities provided. The staff have been wonderful and my aunt quickly settled in, really enjoying the attentive and warm approach of ever familiar faces. All in all, highly recommended."

Nephew of resident

"From my initial enquiry the manager was truly invested in listening to my Mums journey. A personalised first day entering the home, Mum and I were welcomed with afternoon tea in the private dining area. She has settled really quickly with the care and support from the wonderful staff. Rooms and facilities are lovely and clean, staff are very kind and friendly and regularly update me with any health matters. There are regular activities and entertainment for residents, music playing throughout the care home which gives a lovely relaxed atmosphere for staff, residents and family. Food is plentiful and delicious. I really couldn’t ask for a better home. Thank you for sharing the home with my Mum."

Daughter of resident

an elderly couple eating cakes in a residential care home with a nurse

Find a Barchester residential care home near you

With over 250 residential care homes across the UK, Barchester is certain to have a residential care home to best suit the needs of your loved one. Whether it's to help with day-to-day tasks, or somewhere for them to feel comfortable and at home.

Barchester residential care homes near you

Alternatives to residential care

If you’re not sure whether residential care is right for your loved one, there are a number of alternatives.

For those who might need more assistance than those living in residential care, Barchester can offer nursing care. This is a suitable option for people with additional medical needs, and who are more likely to need round-the-clock care.

Barchester also offers a number of assisted living complexes across the UK which all consist of spacious and homely apartments. These allow individuals to retain their independence, whilst offering care and support from the neighbouring Barchester care home, if required. Assisted living is great for people who don’t require the full support of residential care, but might need a little bit of support now or in the future. It’s a great option for couples who wish to continue living together, but might have different care needs.

Alternatively, carers and those being cared for might need a break, and respite care is a great short-term option. 

Residential care help & advice

Whether it's finding the home with the right facilities or planning for future changes in health, we know that there are a range of factors when it comes to choosing a residential care home. You can find various helpful resources to help with this important decision, compiled in collaboration with the care experts who work for us here at Barchester. If your question isn't answered then we're always happy to discuss any concerns or queries either in person or over the phone. 

Residential care help and advice

Residential care FAQs

What is the difference between assisted living and a residential care facility?

Assisted living is great for those who might not yet need full support or residential care, and who may need to tailor their support whilst they live in an individual home or apartment. Residential care offers 24/7 assistance, in a care home environment and is well-suited for those who are beginning to struggle to live independently.

How can a residential care facility help you improve your life?

There are numerous advantages to residential care. Not only does residential care help to combat loneliness, but encourages your loved one to take part in additional activities which are designed to help mentally and physically stimulate. It means that there is always someone on hand to ensure their safety and wellbeing, and they’ll be offered a nutritious and balanced diet.

Why should you consider a residential care facility for your elder care needs?

As well as assistance with their day-to-day living, residential care facilities offer a safe environment for your loved one to live a fulfilled and happy life. You’ll have 100% certainty that there is someone on-hand to help with your loved ones care, and that they’ll be in a clean and comfortable living environment.

Who can go into a residential care home?

Barchester has been providing residential care for over thirty years, to thousands of people across the UK. Usually, we care for adults who are no longer able to live independently at home. This could be due to ageing, physical or learning disabilities, illness or sight or hearing loss.

Who is eligible for residential care?

In the UK, a person must meet some set criteria within a care needs assessment to be eligible for residential care. If your loved one is beginning to struggle to carry out self-care or domestic routines, and is finding it difficult to look after themselves, they may be eligible for care and support.

What’s the difference between nursing care and residential care?

The main difference between nursing care and residential care is that a nursing home always has a qualified nurse on-site to provide medical care. Residential care homes for the elderly however, although still offering 24-hour care, do so without administering medical care.