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)

 

Was our information useful? If yes, please consider making a donation

Your Age UK

Set your location to see what Age UK offers in your local area.

Age UK Advice:
0800 169 6565

Useful information to download

    View all downloadsHelp with downloads

    Downloads

    What is a download?

    A download is a document (like a research report, a leaflet, or an application form) that can be transferred from our website to your computer. You can download a file, view it on your screen, print it, or save it to your computer.

    What is a PDF?

    PDF stands for ‘portable document format’.

    Most downloads on this website are PDFs. We use this format to ensure that the document looks the same on everyone’s computer (website pages, by contrast, appear differently depending on how people have set their computer up).

    How do I download a PDF?

    Computers use a program called Adobe Acrobat Reader to download PDFs. If you try clicking on a link to download a PDF and it doesn’t work, you will need to install Adobe Acrobat Reader onto your computer.

    How do I install Adobe Acrobat Reader?

    The process is quite straightforward and is free.

    1. Go to http://get.adobe.com/uk/reader/
    2. Click ‘Download’.
    3. Wait for the window to offer you the option to ‘Run’, then choose this option.
    4. Click ‘Next’.
    5. Click ‘Install’
    6. Wait for the window to offer you the option to ‘Finish’, then choose this option.

    How do I change a download?

    PDFs cannot be changed.

    How do I print or save a download?

    Downloads will open on your computer in a new browser window.

    Inside this window (below all your web browser menus), there will be a toolbar with options for you to print or save the document.

    Close the browser window to return to the Age UK website.

    Can my screen reader read PDF downloads?

    We have made every effort to make our PDFs accessible to screen readers. Please ensure that you have downloaded the latest version of Acrobat Reader from the Adobe Reader website to ensure that accessibility options are included in your version of the programme.

    You can use Adobe Reader to read a PDF out loud with the following shortcut keys:

    • Read the document: Shift +Ctrl+Y
    • Read the open page only: Shift +Ctrl+V
    • Read to the end of the document: Shift+Ctrl+B
    • Pause: Shift+Ctrl+C
    • Stop Shift+Ctrl+E

    You can convert a PDF document into a text file for use with other software and hardware such as Braille printers by opening the PDF and choosing ‘Save as text’ from the File menu.

Useful website

  • An organisation which provides information on employing care workers, as well as other advice for people with disabilities:

Close window
Display options

Set the appearance of this website so you can read it more easily

Text size

Background/foreground


To see information relating to Northern Ireland, Scotland or Wales set your preference below: