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Finding and Arranging Social Care

Everybody needs a little help sometimes. If it's getting harder to manage, you may be able to get the extra care and support you need through social care.


What kind of homecare support is available?

There are lots of homecare services available, depending on what you need. Your local authority will decide if you're eligible for these services, or for home carers or a personal assistant. The kinds of services available to help you in your own home include:

  • getting in and out of bed

  • bathing and washing

  • preparing meals

  • cleaning

  • fitting equipment and adaptations to your home, such as stairlifts and bath seats

  • going to a day centre


There are many benefits to choosing homecare. Homecare is a lot more flexible, offering different levels of care without long-term commitment.

What's the process?

Arranging homecare ideally starts with getting an assessment of your care needs by your local council.

There’s no charge for this and you’re entitled to one regardless of your income and savings.

After your assessment, your local council will provide a written care plan if you are eligible for support, or will give you advice and information on your other options if you do not meet the criteria for help.

We have a fuller explanation of the care needs assessment, detailing what it includes and the needs that are then eligible for help from social services

Will you have to pay for care services at home?

Most local councils charge for the services they provide in your home. Some place an upper weekly limit on the amount you have to pay.

Before charging you for services, your local council must work out how much you can afford to pay and this amount should leave you with a reasonable level of income.

Check your local council’s website for their charging information

Can you arrange my own homecare?

If you’re assessed as needing community care services you may be able to choose something called direct payments.

These are regular payments paid by the council directly to you or a person you trust and allow you to buy and arrange your own care.

Alongside direct payments, the Government has introduced personal budgets which aim to give people more choice and control over how they arrange and pay for their social care services.

You only need a little help with housework and gardening. Is there any help available?

Most local councils don’t provide support if you just need a helping hand with your housework, gardening or shopping.

It may still be a good idea to get an assessment by your local council to discuss your options, even if they are not able to help with these tasks.

Where shouldyou look for help if you're arranging homecare myself?

Your local adult social services department should be able to provide you with details of approved private agencies.

Ask friends or relatives for recommendations.

What should you do next?

However you intend to pay for your care and the type you get, it's important to arrange that assessment of needs.

What it does is put in black and white your situation at a certain time. You can then be reassessed later to see if anything has changed.

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