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How to find the help you need at home

Care at home

There’s a wide range of help available and you may be legally entitled to services to meet your needs. You may need help with personal care, such as getting in and out of bed, washing and bathing, preparing meals, shopping or cleaning.

Care needs assessments

The first step in obtaining help from the local authority social services department is to ask for an assessment of your needs. The local authority will generally not be able to assist you until it has first carried out the assessment. The authority has a legal duty to carry out an assessment of anyone living in its area who may need community care services, once it becomes aware of this need. Our factsheet has detailed information on the assessment process:

Factsheet 41w: Social care assessments for older people with care needs in Wales

Overview of homecare services

Our factsheet gives an overview of the kind of practical help that may be available to enable you to remain in your own home – or in other community based housing such as extra-care sheltered accommodation – as safely and comfortably as possible. When arranged by the local authority, social care services at home are often referred to as domiciliary, non-residential or community care services. A significant focus of the factsheet involves the assistance that your local authority social services department may be able to provide, though there is also some information on help from charitable organisations, or by arranging your own provision privately. There is also some information on how people providing care on an informal basis – for example, a family member who helps to care for a relative – can access support or assistance for this role.

There is also a link to a briefer information guide on this topic.

Factsheet 6w: Finding help at home in Wales

Information Guide 23: Getting help at home

Paying for care at home - Local authority charging rules and procedures

This factsheet explains what financial assistance may be available to help you meet the cost of social care support in your own home, including how different types of income and capital are treated in the local authority’s means test.

Factsheet 46w: Paying for care and support at home in Wales

Arranging homecare services if you are in hospital

Our factsheet on hospital discharge arrangements includes information on post-discharge services that can be arranged as part of your care plan.

Factsheet 37w: Hospital discharge arrangements for older people in Wales

Disability equipment and home adaptations

Our factsheet covers the help you can get from the local authority and/or the NHS to manage your daily tasks at home, via the provision of specially designed equipment or home adaptations.

We also have a briefer information guide on this topic.

Factsheet 42w: Obtaining disability equipment and home adaptations in Wales

Information Guide 17: Adapting your home

Factsheet 67w: Home improvements and repairs for older people in Wales

Direct payments for social care services

Direct payments are cash payments that local authorities can make to individuals so that they can organise their own services to meet their social care needs. They offer an alternative to the local authority arranging social care services on your behalf.

Factsheet 24w: Direct payments for social care services in Wales

Social Care Wales also has further information on direct payments

Reablement and intermediate care

Intermediate care and reablement are both likely to consist of a varied range of integrated health (NHS) and/or social care services (provided by the local authority) that can be offered on a short term basis to prevent unnecessary hospital admission or a premature placement in long-term residential care.

In general, intermediate care can be said to be a health service (NHS) led service, whereas reablement is social care led (i.e. by the local authority social services department). Further information can be found in our factsheet on this topic.

Factsheet 76w: Intermediate care and reablement in Wales

For more information call Age Cymru Advice on 0300 303 44 98


Last updated: Aug 24 2023

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