Choosing the right Berkshire care home for your elderly relative is really important. When everyone is happy, you and your elderly relative can relax knowing they are receiving the right care in the right area.
There are two types of care homes – residential and nursing:
- Residential homes are for those who can no longer live independently, and need extra support with daily tasks such as washing and meal preparation.
- Nursing homes are for the elderly whose illness or infirmity (including dementia) requires regular nursing care.
Aside from the internal environment of a care home, the outside local area is also important to consider. Your elderly relative may want access to local shops, a church or community groups. Furthermore, when your family visits the care home, you may want to enjoy what the local setting has to offer.
This guide will look at the most popular towns in Berkshire to choose a care home, and how to search for the right one.
- Find Berkshire Care Homes
- Different Areas to Consider in Berkshire
- Average Berkshire Care Home Fees
- The Benefits & Drawbacks of Life in Berkshire
Find Berkshire Care Homes
There are more than 150 care homes in Berkshire, each suitable to different needs. We recommend using the comprehensive directory: Care Home UK, to search for the right care home for your family in Berkshire. You can filter your search by geographical area and type of care provided.
The Care Home UK directory provides ratings and reviews based upon past user’s experiences. When choosing a care home, make sure to also check the CQC rating (government rating on quality of care after inspection). We recommend only considering care homes that are rated ‘Outstanding’ or ‘Good’ to ensure your loved one is properly looked after.
Different Areas to Consider in Berkshire
Originally a market town, Bracknell experienced huge growth during the 20th century in which it was declared a New Town. Today, it hosts the head-quarters for several thriving UK businesses including Waitrose The town is surrounded on the east and south, by Swinley Woods and Crowthorne Woods.
Bracknell is well-served by churches of several denominations; each of which have a welcoming ethos. Age Concern run the Companion Centre in the town which is open Monday to Friday with a packed schedule of events and activities for the elderly community.
Bracknell is well connected by two railway stations on the line that runs between London and Reading. In terms of road, the town is easily accessible from the M3 and M4 motorways.
Lying on the bank of the River Thames, Maidenhead is a large market town. The centre hosts extensive shopping facilities, an eight screen Odeon and a large leisure centre. The local authority provide a Shopmobility service where those with disabilities can borrow a mobility scooter to get around the town.
There are several lively community groups that welcome elderly members. These include Maidenhead Bridge Rotary Club, Royal Voluntary Service and four Women’s Institute groups.
Maidenhead railway station offers frequent and direct services to London, Reading, Oxford and Didcot. The new Crossrail service also stops off in the town, making Maidenhead very connected and easy to visit.
Newbury is a historic market town home to the headquarters of West Berkshire council. The large market square in the town centre retains a medieval Cloth Hall and the 16th century St. Nicholas Church. Newbury lies on the edge of the Berkshire Downs, part of the Wessex Downs Area of outstanding natural beauty.
The town is home to the famous Newbury racecourse. The Hennessy Gold Cup which normally takes place in late November is one of the most prestigious and exciting events in the racing calendar. In terms of other sport to be enjoyed in the town, there are specialised senior yoga, walking and tea dance groups.
Today, Newbury is served by two railway stations: Newbury and Newbury Racecourse, both lie on the Reading to Plymouth line. Road-wise the A4 and M4 are both easily accessible, and the town has good provision of local bus routes.
Situated on the confluence of the River Thames and River Kennet, Reading is a large, historic market town. Reading is the largest town in Berkshire and is a thriving economic and retail centre. There are three major department stores, a street market and fortnightly farmers’ market.
In terms of the elderly community, Age UK Reading run regular coffee mornings with guest speakers and lively social clubs.
Reading railway station is a major junction on the UK’s rail network. Therefore the town is easily accessible from across the country.
Slough is located to the very East of Berkshire, bordering the London borough of Hillingdon and the county of Buckinghamshire. The town of Slough and surrounding villages are well served by a good choice of care homes.
The Slough Senior Citizens Group serves the elderly people of Slough and the surrounding areas. The Group run regular exercise groups and workshops as well as day trips to popular seaside destinations. The Slough Senior Citizens Group follow a policy of inclusiveness and all new members are made to feel welcome.
Slough lies on the intersection of the M4, M40 and M25 motorways meaning the town is very easily accessible to visit by car. Furthermore, the town is also well served by Great Western Railway services and is only a 10 minute drive from Heathrow.
Wokingham is historic market town sitting in central Berkshire between Reading and Bracknell. In past surveys, Wokingham has been named one of the most pleasant places to live in the UK.
The town is home to a lively elderly community. Along with a choice of several care homes, the Wade Centre run regular lunches, events and activities to integrate people of older age. There are nine churches, each with a welcoming community.
Wokingham railway station is at the junction of the London to Reading line and the North Downs line. The local bus service is popular with elderly residents.
Average Berkshire Care Home Fees
Berkshire is a very affluent county, and a sought after area alike the after home counties. Therefore average care home fees here are above the national average (£600 per week, or £800 including nursing care).
The table below shows how much you can expect to pay for weekly care home fees in the county.
|Residential Care Home||Nursing Home|
|Cost per week||£917||£1,101|
Source: Fees paid by self-funders: LaingBuisson surveys of care homes 2019-20.
It is worth noting that these figures as based on those self-funding care (total value of assets owned above £23,250). Please visit our page on care needs assessments in Berkshire (add link)
The Benefits & Drawbacks of Life in Berkshire
Berkshire is a popular place to grow old for very good reason. The county is home to beautiful countryside with rolling hills and woodlands along the Thames Valley. Major towns are well connected with good public transport and provision of amenities. Elderly communities within towns and villages are thriving, with plenty to do specially organised for those in later life. There is a good provision and choice of care homes in each area, so there is sure to be a home to suit your relative’s needs.
When relatives visit, Windsor Castle, Newbury Racecourse and Basildon Park to name a few, all make an exciting day out. For more information, please read our Age Space guides to accessible days out in Berkshire and cultural activities in Berkshire.
Moreover, the Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust is rated Outstanding by the CQC. This means that services the trust provides including A&E, outpatient clinics and dementia care are safe, effective, caring and well-led. For more information on health and social care please visit our guide to elderly care services in Berkshire.
The main drawback to elderly life in Berkshire is that care home costs in the country are higher than average in the UK. However, if your elderly relative has a property in Berkshire, high property prices should mean a sale will cover any associated costs of care.