What is a convalescent home?

A convalescent home is a place where people go for a short period of time to get help to recover after an operation, illness or injury. It is like a stepping stone to bridge the gap between when you leave hospital and when you are ready, confident and feel able to cope with day-to-day living at home. People also go to a convalescent home for respite care because they need a short break from the demanding role of carer. They know the person they are caring for will be looked after by experienced, medically trained personnel. Others go to a convalescent home for their annual holiday or for a short break because they need or feel happier with medically trained staff available 24 hours a day.

“Convalescent homes are not quite hospital, not quite holiday, not quite home. Convalescent homes were hugely popular in the 19th century, but since then tighter budgets and other restrictions mean that RCH is one of the very few remaining in the UK. And that contributes to RCH’s uniqueness the world of care homes.”

Dr Peter Povey, Chairman, RCH

What is the difference between a convalescent home and a residential or care home?

Guests stay in a convalescent home for a short time only – usually a couple of weeks. The aim of a convalescent home is to help the guest get better so they able to go home after their stay feeling improved either mentally or physically or both. A residential or care home caters for those guests who need care for a longer period of time. A residential or care home is usually a guest’s last home.

Do residential or care homes offer convalescent care?

Many residential homes offer short term care as and when they have space available. Most residential or care homes offer short term stays where you are expected to share with the guests who are staying there long term.

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