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Care at home

If you are finding it difficult to manage, it may be possible for you to get your house adapted so that it is suitable for your needs, or for you to get help, so that you can stay in your home.

What help do I need?

If you are finding it difficult to manage in your own home, you should ask for an assessment of your care needs from the social work department at your local council. You can find contact details for your council's social work department on your council's website. You can also ask your GP about getting about an assessment.

After your assessment, the social work department should decide how much care you require and arrange for you to receive it. You are entitled to a written copy of your assessment, so you should ask for a copy if you do not receive one.

Each social work department has a limited amount of money so you may not receive all of the help that you require as it is rationed according to who has the greatest need.

What kind of help can I get?

Care at home can include:

  • special equipment to help you with your daily life, such as a raised chair or bed, or equipment to help you get in and out of the bath
  • home helps to help with general household tasks
  • personal care to help you with personal needs such as washing and dressing
  • meals on wheels if you have difficulty cooking for yourself
  • access to lunch and social clubs
  • access to a day care centre
  • respite care to allow you and your carer to have a rest from each other.

The services you receive may be provided by the council, for example by social work, the housing department or the health service, or by other agencies.

Will I have to pay for care at home?

Your council will decide whether you have to pay for care services and if so, how much. Some councils will have standard charges for some of their services, such as home helps. The council should take your financial circumstances into account when deciding how much you should pay. You can ask for your charges to be reviewed if you think they are unreasonable.

How do I pay for care at home?

You may be entitled to help with paying for care at home. If you require a lot of care it may be easiest to provide this for you in a care home. If you decide that you wish to receive the care in your own home, the social work department may refuse to pay any more than they would have to pay if you were staying in a care home.

Help and advice

  • Some councils have information about community care assessments and the services they provide.
  • You can find out more about community care assessments on the Gov.uk website.
  • Age UK's help at home has useful information.
  • If you have a disabled child you will find more information at Contact A Family.

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The important points

  • If you are struggling to manage in your home, ask for an assessment of your care needs from your council's social work department.
  • Care at home could include specialist equipment like a raised bed or chair, or respite care.
  • You might be able to get help paying for care at home, but your council may limit how much they will pay to the amount it would cost if you were in a care home.

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