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Social care and homecare

Social care and homecare are the terms used for support provided to someone in their home by care workers, to help them with daily living. There may be times when you need extra support. For example, you may need help with washing or getting dressed, or cooking, cleaning or the shopping. Services can be organised through your council’s social services department or privately. They may depend partly on your financial circumstances.

Social services

You and your family may be eligible for support from your local council’s social services department. Social services may provide services such as:

  • care at home from care workers
  • respite care or day centre care to give you and your family a break
  • equipment or adaptations to the home
  • help with daily household tasks, such as laundry.

Social services must do an assessment to work out what care you need. If your partner or family are spending a lot of time caring for you, social services must also carry out a carer’s assessment to find out what support they need.They have a legal duty to do these assessments.

Getting services can take time and persistence so it’s a good idea to start the assessment process as soon as possible – contact the social services department at your local council. Carers UK have more information about getting support from social services. You can find details of your local council from gov.uk

Once the assessments are done, the council will decide whether they will provide any care. They will look at whether your needs and your family member’s needs meet the criteria for getting support. If you do meet the criteria, social services will draw up a plan to meet your needs. 

You may have to pay for some of the care. This will depend on what the service is and your financial circumstances. Social services will do a financial assessment to work this out.

If you do need to contribute and money is tight, there are sometimes grants available from local charities – ask social services for details of any in your area. For example, the Elizabeth Coteman Fund makes small grants to people with pancreatic cancer.

If your needs don’t meet the criteria for getting support, the council should still give you information and advice about support that is available.

Private care

You may not be eligible for support from social services, or may prefer to arrange and pay for additional support themselves.

The social services department should give you information about finding local support services and care providers. Carers UK have information about finding out about care organisations.

“Don’t be afraid to ask – be very confident and assertive about your needs.”

“Source services early and use them. It’s a very difficult disease to contend with. Everyone needs strength to deal with it and you need support to maintain this strength.”

Published June 2017

To be reviewed June 2019

Information Standard