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If you need care or support at home

If you need care at home, or need to move into a care home, the social work team at the council must help you. What you want to happen should always be listened to. If you want help dealing with the council, or getting your needs met, you can get support and specialist advice.

Getting a needs assessment

This is sometimes called a community care assessment. It will not cost you anything. To have your care needs assessed contact the council’s social work team.

Anyone can ask for an assessment. You might need one if:

  • you’re disabled

  • you’re an older person

  • you have a learning disability

  • you have a long-term health condition

  • you have a mental illness

  • you’re dependant on drugs or alcohol

If you look after someone you can have your needs assessed as a carer as well.

After your assessment you’ll be given a care plan which shows what tasks help you need with.

Get specialist advice on getting care needs assessed from Care Information Scotland. You can also call them on Freephone 0800 011 3200, Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm.

Paying for care

You will not have to pay for:

  • your needs assessment

  • equipment given to you by the NHS

  • services provided to you by the NHS

You’ll be expected to pay towards any care you receive from social work, sometimes called social care or social services. Your finances will be looked at to see how much you need to contribute to any costs. Social work will look at things like:

  • your income from work or pensions

  • if you own any property

  • your savings

Before you agree to anything, social work must tell you how much you have to pay. Ask the council to review the charges if you think they’re unreasonable.

Getting care at home

You can get help at home with things like:

  • equipment to help you with daily living, like a raised chair or bed, or equipment to help you get in and out of the bath

  • someone coming over to care for you, to allow you and your carer to have a rest from each other, called respite care

  • household tasks and helping you wash and dress

  • meals on wheels if you have difficulty cooking for yourself

  • housing support to help with budgeting, bills and shopping

  • access to lunch and social clubs

  • access to a day care centre

  • emotional support

These services can be provided by:

  • council’s social work team

  • the housing department

  • the NHS

  • charities

Moving into a care home

If you cannot get the care you need at home you can consider moving into a care home. Sometimes care homes are called nursing homes or assisted living facilities.

You can live in a care home temporarily if you need some time to get better, or you can move in permanently. Social work will help you decide what’s best for you.

Some care homes will offer personal care. This can include:

  • help with washing, bathing and showering

  • help to manage going to the toilet

  • help to take medication

You’ll need a care home which also provides nursing care if:

  • you’re very frail

  • you cannot get out of bed because of sickness or old age

  • you have a medical condition that needs regular attention from a doctor or a nurse

You should be allowed to decide which care home you move into as long as it's suitable for you and meets social work’s requirements. You can search for care homes on the EAC housing care website.

Getting advice

For advice on getting your needs met, or those of someone you look after, get in touch with specialist services:

Last updated: 19 January 2023

Housing laws differ between Scotland and England.

This content applies to Scotland only.

Get advice if you're in England