What is community care?

Older lady

Community Care describes the services and support which help people to continue to live independently at home. A Health and Social Care Trust is the organisation responsible for helping you to access these services.

The Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety (DHSS&PS) is responsible for health and personal social services in Northern Ireland. It provides guidance on how care should be delivered. This guidance is the same for each Health Trust area. There is one Health and Social Care Board and five Health and Social Care Trusts which provide integrated health and social care services throughout Northern Ireland.

Health and Social Care Trusts manage and administer hospitals, health centres, residential homes, day centres and other health and social care facilities. Contact details for each Trust are provided in the Further Support Factsheet 6.

What support is available?

Assistance is available to support individual personal and practicalcare needs associated with mental health, learning or physical difficulties, hearing or sight problems, or the challenges associated with getting older.

Each person has different requirements for their care. To continue living in your own home, you may need help with personal care such as washing
and dressing. You may also require practical support with daily living such as cleaning or making meals. You may benefit from special equipment or adaptations to your home that will enable you to carry out daily activities.

The range of community care services available to support you are:

  • Domiciliary care (more commonly known as home help)
  • Equipment aids and home adaptations (grab rails, hand rails or stair lifts)
  • Meals on wheels
  • Day care (provided in day centres)
  • Respite care (non-residential)

Who is entitled to these services?

You will be entitled to receive community care services after your individual needs have been identified by a community care assessment. This assessment is carried out by Social Services. Your daily life may be enhanced by services if you have additional needs as a result of:

  • an illness
  • physical or mental difficulties
  • a long time spent in institutional care and you require support adapting to life within a community setting.


opens link in new window opens link in new window Factsheet 1 - What is community care? (PDF 176KB)

Age NI would like to acknowledge The Law Centre of Northern Ireland and The Ladies, St Mary's Parish Church Friendship Circle, Comber for their contribution to the Community Care Factsheets.


Your Age NI

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

Age NI Advice:
0808 808 7575
Age NI Advice Line:
0808 808 7575

Donate pie

Later Life Update

Receive our latest news and events information by email.

Subscribe now
Older lady

Spread the Warmth

For many older people winter means loneliness, poverty and ill-health.



Spend and Raise

Get involved

    Older people

    About Age NI

    We deliver care services, provide advice and advocacy, fundraise and influence our decision-makers to improve later life for us all.

    Investors In People Bronze

    Close window
    Display options

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

    Text size


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