Frequently Asked Questions

We understand that the decision to move home is a significant one. It can be an emotional and challenging time that prompts lots of questions.

To help you, we thought we would share some of the frequently asked questions many of our families and residents ask when they first contact us. They cover a range of topics from what to expect when someone moves in to a care home, to fees and funding and the legal rights of a resident. We hope you find them useful.

Home comforts

Moving into a care home is a great opportunity to make new friends and enjoy more socialising. Our Activities Leads organise and run activities throughout the day. However, you may want to continue an interest or try something new that you’ve been meaning to do for years. That is no problem. Share your wants and wishes and we’ll do all we can to make it happen when you move in.

Our homes provide a daily menu of traditional home-cooking, using fresh ingredients and we cater for everyone’s dietary and cultural requirements.

When you first move in, our catering team will discuss your food preferences, so if you fancy a favourite dish we will try all we can to make it for you, just how you like it.

You can even invite your family over for private dining too.

Free WiFi is available in our Home so you can access the internet and keep in touch with those you love digitally. Please talk to your care home directly, as WiFi may not reach all areas of the home. If when in the home you need assistance connecting to the WiFi our care team are happy to help.

Moving home can be an emotional time and animals can often provide comfort and familiarity. If you wish to bring a pet with you, please discuss with the Home Manager to see if this is possible after taking account of health and safety for you and others in the home. You are responsible for all costs, such as your pet’s food and medical costs, and any damage they may cause to your room or the home. All pets must be kept up to date with their vaccinations at your own cost.

It is important to us that you are able to maintain your social life and keep links with your family, friends and community networks. Visitors are welcome at the Home at anytime. However, please be mindful that our Homes are ‘home’ to many people so we ask that mealtimes and late night visits are treated with courtesy.

Before you move into the home, we will carry out a care needs assessment to see if the type of care the Home provides is suitable for your needs and to help assess the cost of your care. After you move into the Home we will work with you to carry out an initial assessment (within the six-week trial period) to review whether your care and support package remains appropriate. We will continue to assess with you whether the Home meets your needs and carry out further assessments throughout your stay as appropriate and at least once a year. If you find it difficult to express your wants and wishes due to a lack of capacity, we will support you to communicate as far as you are able and consult with you and your appointed representative. We will support and encourage you to be involved in planning and any decisions made about your care.

Your room

If a preferred room becomes available that suits your care needs, you can move into the room. Your Weekly Fee may increase or decrease to reflect the change from your previous room. If you are publicly funded this will be made in agreement with the commissioning body. If we believe that it is necessary or more appropriate for you to move rooms, we will discuss this with you and normally give you at least one month’s notice of any proposal to move rooms and if there is any difference in cost that will effect your Weekly Fee.

We are happy for you to continue to smoke or vape but it is not permitted in residents rooms. There are dedicated smoking areas should you wish to smoke or vape. We have a no smoking policy for visitors.

We have limited insurance for your personal belongings. We therefore recommend that you do not keep anything of significant financial value (or significant sentimental value) in your room and that you arrange your own insurance cover. If you are unsure whether to bring particular items with you to the home, please speak with the Home Manager, who will be able to confirm the security arrangements at the home and the steps both you and we can take to keep your possessions safe.

We want you to be happy and feel comfortable in your new home. You can personalise your room by bringing some of your own possessions and a piece of favourite furniture with you. However, in the interests of your health and safety please ensure that any items you bring into the Home are safe, fit for purpose and are not a fire hazard.

Fees and funding

Most Four Seasons Health Care Group care homes accept residents who pay for the full cost of their stay themselves, or who receive assistance with funding from a public body such as their Local Authority or the Health Trust. The final price is dependent upon an individual’s requirements and needs as identified during the care needs assessment undertaken prior to moving into the home plus and the size and facilities of the room chosen. This will be discussed and agreed prior to moving into the home, as will arrangements for paying the Weekly Fee. However, for those paying for their own care, there are indicative prices for each home, published on Please contact the Home to discuss your care needs and to gain a better understanding of specific costs. We are always happy to assist with any general enquiries you may have in relation to your fees. You may be entitled to assistance with your care home Weekly Fee and so we recommend you seek independent, professional advice.

We do not ask you to pay a deposit or an administration charge. We try to ensure our Weekly Fee and the amount you pay or contribute to your Weekly Fee is easy to understand. Please speak to the Home Manager if you would like to discuss in more detail.

The Weekly Fee includes the care and support services that reflect your needs and wants including activities and routine trips; your own furnished room; all meals, drinks and snacks; laundry (excluding dry cleaning); domestic cleaning services; utilities including telephone calls (excluding international and premium rate telephone calls), and WiFi.

To make you feel at home, we also offer a number of extra treats and services that are not covered by the Weekly Fee. These include: professional hairdressing, magazines and newspapers for personal reading, personal purchases such as fresh flowers for individual’s rooms, stationery, confectionery, alcoholic beverages, particular snacks; toiletries; clothing, shoes and slippers; dry cleaning and the installation of private telephone line, internet or cable TV connections. In the absence of free provision by the NHS, the following may also be provided, but shall be charged in addition to the Weekly Fee: chiropody; occupational therapy; opticians; dentistry; physiotherapy, other privately arranged healthcare and being accompanied to any planned medical appointments. The Home Manager will notify you if charges do not apply for any reason.

If your care stay is publicly funded you may be required to pay a means-tested contribution towards the cost of your care. The relevant commissioner will advise you of this. Changes to this rate are determined by the commissioner and notified by them to both the resident and the care home.

If you are paying for your own care, you’ll need to pay the care fees by Direct Debit at the start of each month. Upon moving in, the first Direct Debit will collect payments in advance for the first month’s fees. The same applies to any applicable top-ups. If your care is publicly funded, and if we are collecting the resident’s contribution, this should also be paid by Direct Debit, but it will be collected at the end of the month.

If you are a self-funder or have a top-up fee, your Weekly Fee will increase according to our Terms and Conditions. Ask the Home Manager for a full set of Terms and Conditions. If you are publicly-funded your Weekly Fee may also increase on an annual basis and the relevant commissioner will advise you of the rate that will apply plus any impact this has upon the contribution you pay towards the cost of your care. Regardless of your funding (private or public), there may be an additional increase or decrease to your Weekly Fee over time to reflect changes to your care needs, funding and eligibility for financial assistance from the Local Authority or the Health Trust. For publicly funded residents, the relevant commissioner will advise you of any impact this has upon the contribution you pay towards the cost of your care. Selffunders can also ask their commissioner to confirm if these changes enable them to access financial assistance from the Local Authority or Health Trust.

You can change your mind for any reason within the 14-days and will only be required to pay for those days which  you stayed at the Home. After the first 14-days you can still cancel for any reason, but you must give us one month’s notice. For more detail ask the Home Manager for a full set of Terms and Conditions.

No, we do not ask you to provide proof of your savings or assets as there is no minimum period of time you are expected to pay for your own care.

If your needs change to the extent that we are unable to provide the appropriate level of care you need and the home is no longer the right place for you, we may ask you to leave and end the agreement we have with you. We try to avoid this by using a six week trial period where together we can check that the arrangements are suitable for you. If we are unable to meet your needs we can end the contract with one month’s notice. After the six week trial period, we can end the contract but will give you at least three months’ notice. Other reasons we may need to ask you to leave the home on one month’s notice (or less in extreme circumstances) are if you, anyone paying a top-up or your public-sector commissioner refuse to pay, or if you or your visitors present a significant risk to others at the Home; or you or your visitors persistently behave in a way that seriously and negatively impacts the wellbeing of others at the Home.

If there is a change of circumstances and you are not able to pay the Weekly Fee and you need financial assistance from the Local Authority or Health Trust, it is your responsibility to apply for public sector funding in good time to make the necessary arrangements. If you are applying for public sector funding, you will continue to be responsible for paying our fees in full until your application has been completed and that funding has been agreed and commenced by the relevant body. If your savings increase, the public-sector commissioner change their threshold or your care needs decrease over time, you may no longer be eligible to receive funding from the public sector, at which point you will become responsible for the payment of your care and accommodation. The Home Manager can help you to request the necessary information from the commissioner and we recommend all our residents obtain independent, professional advice.

We don’t provide financial advice but can provide information on the funding. We recommend that before moving into the Home, all new residents seek independent, professional advice in relation to paying their fees. There are a number of options available when deciding how to fund your care and you may be entitled to financial assistance from the Local Authority or the Health Trust in certain circumstances. If you need help to contact a commissioner or you would like to discuss your options with someone, please speak with the Home Manager who will be able to provide you with information on how to find an independent financial adviser.

We recommend all residents appoint someone as their Lasting Power of Attorney if they’ve not done so already. This is a legal document that allows someone you trust to act on your behalf and remains effective if you lose capacity to make decisions for yourself. A Lasting Power of Attorney can provide someone you trust with the formal and legal authority to manage your financial affairs and/or to make decisions about your health and welfare. You should seek independent legal advice on the process. If you have not made a Lasting Power of Attorney and you cannot manage your own affairs, the Local Authority and/ or NHS will be responsible for making key decisions about you, your financial affairs and your care package. Until you have a Lasting Power Attorney in place, we recommend that you identify a person you trust and who knows you well; we call this person your ‘Resident Liaison’. A Resident Liaison does not have the legal authority to make decisions on your behalf (like a Lasting Power of Attorney would), but we would like to be able to discuss your circumstances with them in order to best understand your needs and to make decisions about your care.

If you are paying for your own care and you have not made a Power of Attorney, we may require a payment in advance or arrange for another person to guarantee payment of your fees by completing a Third-Party Guarantee Agreement.

When you come to live in one of our homes, we need to use information about you to make sure that we provide you with care that meets your needs. We use your information to provide you with care, to keep you safe and to receive and make payments. We may also use it to make sure that we are providing high standards of care more generally. To do all of this, we may receive information from, or share information with, the following people: Colleagues from Four Seasons Health Care and external organisations, such as the NHS or Health Trust, who are responsible for providing direct care Colleagues from Four Seasons Health Care support services, such as those who process payments, undertake audits or provide specialist advice External regulators and professional bodies, such as the CQC, RQIA or Care Inspectorate Commissioners, such as local councils or NHS or Health Trust Service providers, such as pharmacists, opticians and chiropodists Data processors, such as the companies that supply our IT systems If there are serious concerns about your safety, or the safety of another person, we may be legally required to share information with the police and other government agencies. We do not automatically share information about you with your loved ones. Instead, when you move in, we will ask you whether you want us to share information about your care with anyone else and add your preferences to your records. If you do not have the capacity to make decisions about who we share information with, we will share information with people who are legally authorised to act on your behalf or where a ‘best interests’ decision supports the sharing.

Our full privacy notice is published at Privacy Policy and this gives more detail about the ways in which we use information.

We hope that your time in our Home is happy and problem-free. We welcome feedback and encourage you to provide us with your thoughts and opinions on what we are doing well and what we can do to improve. If you would like to comment on our services, you can talk to the Home Manager.  However, if you wish to voice your concerns formally there is a procedure you can follow: If you have a complaint about any aspect of our service or care please speak to the person in charge in the first instance. If they are unable to resolve the problem please speak to the Home Manager. We will always do our best to resolve a complaint as soon as possible and we will talk to you about any actions that should be taken to help solve the issue.  A copy of our feedback leaflet ‘Tell us what you think’ can be found in all of our care homes or on our website If you are still not satisfied after following the Four Seasons’ complaints process then you may request an independent review from the Ombudsman. Details will be provided with your complaint response or can be found on the website More information on how to register a complaint is available and displayed within the home, just ask a member of the team.

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