Although not a bereavement, having someone you look after move into a care home can be very difficult and it can feel very strange not having them to look after.

Residential or nursing care for the person you care for might be a difficult option to consider. It may feel like you are letting your loved one down, letting other family members down or giving up on them, but it is important to remember that you can only do so much as a carer.

Levels of care you can give may be limited by what can be provided in your home, and the physical and mental impacts caring can have may mean your loved one moving into a care home is the best decision for both of you.

Remember, even if your loved one moves into a care home, you may still be a carer. You may still spend a lot of time visiting the person you care for in their care home, helping with care and keeping the person you care for company.

Finding a care home

Before you decide if moving your loved one into a care home is appropriate for you, you can contact Dorset Council on 01305 221000. They can give you advice about other options that are available, such as additional support at home or other types of accommodation. 

Types of non-residential accommodation and support include: 

  • sheltered housing 
  • extra care housing 
  • the provision of care at home 
  • telecare 

 However if residential or nursing care feels like it is the only option, it is important to get the right advice and information before you start looking for a care home. This can apply whether you are asking for the council to fund your care or whether you have the ability to pay for the care yourself. 

Types of care homes


Intensive support and help with personal care and hygiene for people who cannot manage this on their own or with minimal support. Residential homes will provide an individual room and shared facilities (such as lounges, dining facilities and bathrooms). Generally residential care is used by people who are fairly dependent and need help with the majority of daily living tasks. 


Care for people with complex needs who require the skills of a qualified nurse. They are required by law to have a qualified nurse on duty 24 hours a day. Generally nursing home care is used by people who are extremely dependent and as well as needing help and support with all daily living tasks, they also need regular nursing care and monitoring, which could not be provided by a community nursing service (such as nursing care during the night time). 

What other support is available

Care Rights UK has some great advice on talking to your loved one about moving into a care home and more. They also have a helpline for people who are having problems with care, or are struggling to find their way around the complexities of the system.  

You can contact them on 020 7359 8136 or via email at They also have an online form to complete and a webchat. Visit their website here –

Carers Trusthas some great advice on caring for someone in a care home around benefits, carers assessments and more. 

They have recently partnered with Legal & General Care Concierge service, a service that can help carers better navigate the later life care journey. All carers that we support have free access to this guidance that offers: 

  • A telephone guidance session with one of their care experts, if desired family members can also join this session through a conference call that Concierge can set up 
  • An overview of the different later life care options that are available, from home help and adaptations to residential care 
  • Guidance on typical care costs and the various ways of paying for care 
  • An email summarising everything discussed, and care guides tailored to the caller’s situation 

They also have reading materials and information tools on their website

A dedicated phone line is available on 0800 086 9071 (give Carers Trust as your referrer)