Care homes play a vital role in Welsh society. Here we set out exactly what care homes do and provide advice on finding a care home to fit your needs. We also show you what it’s like working in a care home and how to find a job.
What are Care Homes?
Care homes, also known as residential care homes, are where adults can live with the extra care and support they might need.
They aim to create a homely and welcoming environment for their residents, their family and friends, and staff. In addition to accommodation, they offer a wide range of activities for residents to enjoy, which can include day trips, exercise and cultural activities. Care homes support people with a range of different needs and help residents live the life they want.
Trained staff are available day and night. Staff are dedicated to making sure residents individual needs are taken care of. This includes providing personal care such as washing, dressing, eating, taking medication, and going to the toilet. Furthermore, the staff often create a bond with the residents, providing a sense of friendship and emotional support.
Some care homes cater for people with specific medical needs. For example, anyone who requires around the clock care in the presence of a registered nurse. These are often called nursing homes, or care homes with nursing. This service can be found within some residential care homes, while some providers cater their services specifically for those with certain needs.
Finding a Care Home in Wales
Care homes are usually considered as an option for people who are no longer able to live in their own home (even with help from friends, family or paid carers), or people with complex medical conditions that require specialist attention.
It is important to consider the type of care required when carrying out your research. Providers will give details about the care they specialise in on their website, along with contact details to make further enquiries. Not all care homes provide specialised types of care like respite breaks, nursing care, or dementia care, so it's important to keep this in mind when doing your research. Social services staff will be able to help with finding a suitable home to meet your needs
Fortunately, whether you’re searching for residential care for later life or for more specialist care, there are providers across Wales to suit your needs. You can see some of the providers available locally to you by using our database of social care providers.
Who Regulates Care Homes?
In Wales, care homes must be registered with Care Inspectorate Wales (CIW), who register, inspect and take action to improve the quality of care services throughout Wales.
The Regulation and Inspection of Social Care (Wales) Act 2016 came into force on 2 April 2018. It focuses on improving the quality of care and support, and on well-being outcomes for people using services. It also gave Care Inspectorate Wales increased powers to take swifter, stronger action when needed. For more information, please see the Care Inspectorate Wales website.
Working in Care Homes
If you would like to search for vacancies near you, the WeCare Wales Jobs portal has the latest openings.
There are several roles within care homes, including care workers, nurses, and management. Whether you're just starting out or already have some experience and qualifications under your belt, there's a role for you in care.
Working in a care home isn’t for everyone, but it can be incredibly fulfilling for the right person. If you want to find out about some of the pros and cons of working in a care home, Jake gives some insight, describing the bonds he creates with residents, but also the pressure that comes with the job.
If you’re still not sure if it’s the right job for you, watch Jean's video on
A Question of Care: a Career for YOU to find out more about what a career in a care home is like.