It’s not something most people like to think about, but when choosing care, you need to recognise that your care needs are likely to increase over time.

It depends. If you’re in poor health, you might need a great deal of care.

If you’re relatively fit and mobile, you probably won’t need full-time nursing care.

For most people, it’s somewhere in between and will be confirmed by a local authority care-needs assessment.

The most important decision to make when considering your care needs is whether you can remain in your own home or need to move into a care home.

The decision will be based on what you want and what care you need, but you’ll also need to consider how much it will cost.

Our needs change as we get older, and aspects of living independently become more difficult, such as getting up and downstairs or in the bath.

The sooner you consider what will work the better. This can help avoid rushing into a choice that is not right for you particularly in a time of crisis, such as following a stay in hospital.

It can help to answer the following, you could even write it down. It can help to priorities your needs:

  1. What does ‘home’ mean to you? For example, is it comfort, security?
  2. What makes a good home in later life? For example, proximity to family, GP.
  3. What things might become more difficult? For example, getting in and out of the bath, steep stairs or a large garden.

Elderly Accommodation Council has a useful online tool ( that can help you assess the suitability of your current home Housing Options for Older People.

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