How to find the help you need at home

Help with care in your own home

If you have been assessed as needing help at home, your local council’s social services department has a duty to help you arrange it or to provide it if necessary.

Help from your council

You have a right to support from the council even if you are not receiving financial help from them. For more information on the types of help available visit the section Help with care in your home.

Organising your own care

If you choose to organise your care yourself, you can find a care worker or personal assistant through an agency. These agencies must be registered with the Care Quality Commission. Your local social services department should be able to provide you with details of approved private agencies.

You can also contact the United Kingdom Homecare Association to find out which home care providers follow their code of practice. It’s important to be clear about the kind of help you need, to see whether the agency or its staff can meet your requirements.

It may be that you need more than one person to support you, or to help with different tasks. Your family or friends may also be able to give you recommendations.

You can also find full-time live-in carers through agencies, although this can be costly. Read about paying for care and support at home, or download the factsheet opens link in new window Paying for care and support at home (PDF 231 KB)

Employing a care worker

Alternatively, you might choose to employ a care worker directly, although this can be complicated. If you do this, you must draw up a contract of employment so that you are both clear on what is expected, and be aware of financial considerations such as National Insurance contributions.

This may also be suitable when the State is providing support via direct payments. Within the Government’s new personalisation policy, this may also be arranged as part of a personal budget.

For more information on using agencies or employing your own care worker, download the factsheet opens link in new window Finding help at home (PDF 246KB). For more information on protecting yourself, including finding a carer safely, see our free guide opens link in new window Protecting yourself (PDF 308KB).

Volunteer support

You may feel you need a helping hand with the housework, the shopping or the garden. Most local authorities do not provide this. However, voluntary organisations such as your local Age UK or Royal Voluntary Service may offer these services. Contact your local Age UK, using the search on the right hand side of this page, or visit Royal Voluntary Service. It may also still be a good idea to get an assessment of your needs, even if you only think you need help with minor tasks.

Explore further by downloading the following

opens link in new window Download the guide: Care at home (PDF 759 KB)

opens link in new window Download the factsheet: Local authority assessment for community care services (PDF 337 KB)


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