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Nursing homes are like residential care homes, but they also provide medical care from a qualified nurse who is on site 24 hours a day.

On this page we look at:

1. How much does a nursing home cost?
2. Nursing homes near me or my relative
3. Activities in a nursing home
4. Choosing a nursing home over a residential care home

How much does a nursing home cost?

Research by LaingBuisson for their Care of older people UK market report (28th edition, published May 2017) indicates that the average weekly cost of nursing care in the UK in the financial year 2016-17 was £841; or £43,700 per year. For more detailed information about the cost of care across the UK, see our information about care home fees.

Nursing homes near me or my relative

As well as the information guides on Which? Elderly Care, we also have a care services directory to enable you to search for nursing homes near you or your relative. You can also filter the directory to search for, say, nursing homes that specialise in dementia care.

Activities in a nursing home

A nursing home will inevitably have fewer active residents than in a residential care home, but this doesn’t mean that activities won’t be organised. In addition to the following visiting professionals:

  • the local GP
  • district nurse
  • physiotherapist
  • chiropodist
  • holistic therapists
  • hairdresser
  • vicar, priest or leader from other religious denominations

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many nursing homes will organise events such as small groups playing or singing music, storytellers and maybe a pat dog or two.

Choosing a nursing home over a residential care home

It might well be the case that the circumstances of your relative’s health means that this decision is taken out of your hands. With the average age of residents moving into care now being 85 years old and an increasing number of people living in their own homes for longer with assistance, it's increasingly likely that you will be choosing a nursing home rather than a residential care home.

However, if you are in any doubt, read When should your relative consider a care home?.

More information

  • Financing a care home: find out about self-funding care and getting local authority support.
  • NHS funding for care: read about eligibility for NHS continuing healthcare and NHS-funded nursing care.
  • Choosing a care home: questions to think about and ask the care home manager when visiting a nursing home.

Page last reviewed: September 2017