Residential care is a term used to describe the general care and support provided in a standard elderly care home.  It usually involves help with washing, dressing and other tasks related to daily living. This will include support that considers mobility and communication assistance in a residential setting.

A care home is a residential setting where several older people live, usually in single rooms, and have access to on-site care services 24 hours a day.  A home registered as a care home provides personal care and support such as help with washing, dressing, and giving medication. Further assistance can be given such as helping to eat meals, promoting mobility to keep agile and so on.  Some care homes are registered to meet a special care need, for example dementia or terminal/end of life care.

Residential care is often provided for people that may have difficulty living independently, however some older people prefer to live in a residential care facility due to it providing security, social interaction and ongoing support and assistance that is unavailable through care at home.  People often have a misconception that moving to a care home is a ‘last resort’ and only need to leave home when they are very unwell or completely unable to manage, however there are many residents that simply enjoy the many benefits a care home has to offer.

A Typical Day in a Care Home

Here are some examples of what support can be expected or requested regarding residential care:

In the morning

Assistance with waking and preparing for the day

Bathing or showering

Applying lotions or creams as required

Oral hygiene (brushing teeth, denture care)

Applying make-up, help with hair styling

Support with shaving



During the day

Assistance with mobility around the care home and gardens

Helping to the toilet, including using a commode or bed pan

Assistance at mealtimes as required

Ensuring residents have the opportunity for social interaction with others (as per their wishes), this will include daily activities and outings in the home’s mini-bus.

Make sure that the residents are well hydrated and taking necessary fluids

Ensure that prescribed medications are taken as necessary throughout the day according to the prescribed schedule

Through the night

Preparing for bed

Repositioning in bed, to stretch and prevent bed sores

Changing continence pads, along with cleaning intimate areas

During personal care and throughout the day, staff in a care home will look for signs of change in behaviour and/or eating and sleeping habits and report it back to senior staff members and the care home manager.  This gives residents and their families peace of mind that someone is always looking to ensure optimum health and wellbeing.