When you or someone you care about starts to have difficulty managing daily tasks at home and needs extra support and care, it can feel daunting and you might not know what help is available or how to arrange it.
The care and support system is complex and can be confusing, with many organisations involved in assessment, arrangement and provision of care.
The rules on how you pay for care and support can also be difficult to understand and it’s important to know what you are entitled to.
However, there is help and advice available and, with a bit of planning, it is possible to find good care which helps your needs.
What social care services are available?
Examples of services available to help with care and support needs can include:
- help at home with shopping, laundry and cleaning
- intensive home care such as washing, dressing and preparing a meal
- 24-hour care in a care home or a housing with care scheme (also known as sheltered accommodation).
If you do qualify for local authority support, instead of receiving directly-funded and arranged services, you can ask for cash payments so that you can arrange your own care. This allows for greater choice and control over how your needs are met.
You may also be entitled to the provision of equipment and adaptations to help make your home more suitable to meet your needs.
Where do I start?
Your first port of call should be your Local Authority (via Gov UK) - contact its social services department or contact centre.
Each Local Authority will have its own assessment procedure, information about this should be available on their website.
Local authorities will also provide an up-to-date list of local providers and can signpost to services. You should always be offered information and advice to help you understand the social care system, regardless of whether or not you are eligible for services.