If you think you have care and support needs you are entitled to a care assessment to determine the level of support you may need. You can get advice about the care you require irrespective of who will be paying for your care.  There is more information on help available through the council on our Assessing your adult social care needs page, or you can contact Access Bolton on 01204 338027.

Advice and support is available for anyone who is considering a move into a care home. If you are in a position to pay for your care we can advise and support you through the process.

Facts and information

There are two main types of care provided in care homes:

  • Residential care; or
  • Nursing care.

Residential care is needed when you cannot manage alone and need significant levels of support with everyday tasks such as washing, dressing or going to the toilet.  Nursing care is needed when you cannot manage alone and need significant levels of support with everyday tasks, as well as requiring the care of a registered nurse because of illness, infirmity or injury. A nursing home will have a registered nurse on duty at all times and these homes will tend to support those with higher levels of need.  There are care homes in Bolton dedicated to either residential or nursing care and some which provide both types of care.

You can find information about residential or nursing homes in the factsheets and guides produced by Independent Age, a national charity specialising in advice and information for older people.  You can also call the Independent Age advice line on 0800 319 6789.

You can find information about local care homes here: View the list of all care homes and related information.

Paying for a care home placement

Council funding for care home placements is governed by legislation and statutory guidance and depends upon the level of your income and your assets. Under the current legislation those who have assets over £23,250 must pay the full cost of their care, this also applies if it is arranged through the Council. Those with assets below £23,250 will have to pay a contribution towards their care, based on an assessment of their finances.  

Bolton Council’s Paying for Residential and Nursing Care guide explains in detail how care home placements are funded. Most residents placed by Bolton Council have to make a contribution towards this amount in line with the nationally set financial criteria.

If you are assessed as having Care Act needs and have assets below the upper capital threshold limit, and want us to pay for your care, we will ask you to complete a financial assessment to ascertain your contribution towards this care.

Many of your questions about paying for your care will be answered by Independent Age’s factsheets.

The cost of care

How much you pay depends upon your income and assets, find out more about Paying for Residential and Nursing Care.

If you are assessed as eligible for a Council funded care home placement you can choose to stay in a care home of your preference which accepts the Council’s assessed rate set in your personal budget.


If you have a Council funded placement and choose a care home placement that is more expensive than the assessed cost of your care set in your personal budget then a ‘top up’ payment may be needed for the duration of your residence in the care home which is either payable by a third party or by yourself as a first party top up which is only permissible in certain circumstances.  

A top up is an additional payment:

  • For an individual who chooses a care placement commissioned by Bolton Council that is more expensive than the care home fee rate set in their personal budget.
  • That is usually paid by a friend or relative who will need to provide evidence that they have the means to fund the top up. This is called a “third-party top up”

For more information, please read the Paying for Residential and Nursing Care guide.

In certain circumstances you can make a top-up payment yourself, this is called a “first-party top up”.  These can be put in place when:

  • You are subject to a 12-week property disregard
  • You have a deferred payment agreement in place with the Council
  • Where you are receiving accommodation provided under Section 117 for mental health aftercare

Care home fees

The standard fee rate that Bolton Council pays to care homes that care predominantly for older adults, is set out below.  Homes mainly for younger adults may have different prices.

Older people care placements - weekly fee 2024/2025
Standard residential payment £707
Standard nursing payment £761
Dementia high needs payment (for residents assessed as requiring specialist dementia residential or nursing care in a dedicated dementia unit) £78

Standard Nursing payment is £761 per week. For dementia/EMI nursing placements an additional £78 per week is paid.

Choosing a care home

Age UK have produced a useful guide to help with choosing a care home.

Care homes located in Bolton.