Select a term to find out it's definition

What is Attendance Allowance?

Attendance Allowance helps with extra costs if you have a disability or care need severe enough that you need someone to help look after you. It’s paid at two different rates and how much you are awarded depends on the level of care that you need. The rates are currently £60 or £89.60.

To apply for Attendance Allowance, download and print this claim form.

For more information, please contact your local Social Services department or visit www.carechoices.co.uk

What is Capital Threshold?

If you live in England and Northern Ireland and have savings above £23,250, you will have to pay the full cost of care. This is called the capital threshold. 

If you fall below this threshold after having moved into a care home, the local authority will conduct a means-test to establish how much they can contribute towards your care.

What is a Care Assessment?

The process of determining what your healthcare needs are. This assessment looks at how you’re managing everyday activities, household tasks and getting out and about. If you have social care needs, you are entitled to an assessment and your views are central to this process.

What is a Care Pathway?

Care pathways are one of the main tools used to manage the quality of care and to improve your health. They are used to reduce variation, to improve quality of care, and to maximise the outcomes.

What are Care Plans?

Care plans are detailed and live documents that describe the overall aims and desired outcomes, based on a thorough assessment of your needs. It must describe the services and interventions that are required to meet both your day-to-day and longer-term needs.

Who are Care Quality Commission (CQC)?

An organisation set up by the Government to make sure that all care homes in England provide care that is safe, caring, effective, responsive and well-led.

What is a Commissioner? A person or organisation that designs, delivers, monitors, and evaluates itself through a contractual arrangement.

What is a Community?

A community refers to an area within a home in which an individual lives. There are often several communities within a care home, each generally homing a smaller number of residents.

What is Continuing Healthcare?

Ongoing care outside hospital for someone who is ill or disabled. This is generally arranged and funded by the NHS.

What is Funded Nursing Care?

If you are not eligible for NHS Continuing Care but have been assessed as needing care from a registered nurse, you could be eligible for NHS Funded Nursing Care.

NHS Funded Nursing Care is funded by the NHS for eligible nursing home residents, it does not matter if you are a self-funder or if your local authority is paying for your care. It is not means tested which means that your income and savings have no bearing on whether you can get Funded Nursing Care or not.

What is a Framework Agreement? 

A framework agreement is an agreement between an authority (for example NHS or the Local Authority) and one or more operators. The purpose of this agreement is to establish the terms of a governing contract during a given period, particularly with regards to the price and quality of the service.

What is Home Care?

Care that is provided in your own home by paid care workers to help you with daily life and tasks.

What is Independence?

Freedom from the control or influence of others.

What is Independent Living?

Independent living does not necessarily mean living by yourself or doing everything for yourself, it means the right to receive the assistance and support you need so you can participate in your community and live the life you want. It is the right to choose the way you live your life.

What is Local Authority Funding?

Government funding may be available to help you pay for a care home. However, most funding is means tested and will depend on your savings, assets and income. This funding is referred to as Local Authority Funding.

What is Palliative Care?

Care designed for the terminally ill and their families, especially care provided by an organised health service.

What is a Personal Expenses Allowance (PEA)?

The Personal Expenses Allowance (PEA) is available to ensure residents have money to spend as they wish, when living in a care home. For example, if you wish to buy personal toiletries, treats and presents for friends and relatives. The PEA is currently £23.50 per week.

What is Person Centred Care?

This type of approach to care is linked you’re your healthcare rights. It is about treating you with dignity and respect, whilst also involving you in all decisions about your health. It is about doing everything possible to put your needs first.

What is meant by Private Funding?

If you have in excess of the capital threshold or own your own property, you will not be entitled to any financial support from the Government and will have to finance your own care. You can arrange and pay for your care without any support from your local council. When you pay for your own care, this is referred to as ‘private funding’.

It is important to get professional advice since there are several types of insurance schemes available to help you pay for your stay in the care home. These organisations will also help ensure you receive all your entitlements to any state benefits.

These organisations include:

  • Nursing Home Fees Agency (NHFA) Freephone 0800 998 833
  • Care Aware Tel: 08705 134925
  • Care Direct Freephone 0845 1551 007

What is Quality assurance?

A way of preventing mistakes or defects in a service. CQC is the organisation set up to ensure quality in the care sector.

What is Self Funding?

Someone who is self funding pays the full cost of their care and support. As a self-funder, any contracts will be between you and the care home directly.

What is Social Care?

This refers to all forms of personal care and other practical assistance for you if you need extra support.

What is State Funding?

Local authorities are the main source of public funding for adult social care services. This is referred to as state funding.

The only way to know whether you qualify for state funding is to contact your GP or social worker and arrange an assessment. This assessment is based on your health needs and what you can personally afford.

What are Care Home Top Up Fees?

If you would like to live in a different, more expensive care home than the one chosen by the local authority, then you have the option for a third party to pay a ‘top-up’ fee. This is when somebody pays the difference between what the local authority has agreed to pay and the cost of the care home you choose.

Most top-up fees are paid for by a third-party, usually a family member but sometimes a friend or charity.

For more information, please contact your local Social Services department or visit www.carechoices.co.uk

What is Wellbeing?

The state of being comfortable, healthy and happy. Being in a position where you have good physical and mental health and the opportunity to take part in the activities that interest you.

What is a 12 week disregard in care home funding?

From the day you first become a permanent resident in a care home, you will be given a 12 week disregard to give you time to make a decision about how to use your property to pay care fees.



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We hope that our care terms glossary helps you to understand more about the different care terms. Hopefully, it will help you on your journey to finding the right care home for you.

If you cannot find a specific term that you are looking for please email us. We can consider adding it to the glossary in order to help more people like you.

If you do have any further questions, please get in touch with our friendly team who are always happy to help.