There are many types of support you might get from your local council (or, in Northern Ireland, your health and social care trust). What you can choose will depend on what you need and you'd like.
Your council (or trust) must help you by giving you free advice and information on social care. You might also be able to get these types of help from them:
Find out more about the services available
Equipment and changes to your home
Social care services can pay for specialist equipment and changes to your home (called adaptations) as long as they cost no more than £1,000. Examples include specialist knives and forks, bath seats, hoists or having ramps or grab rails fitted.
Your council (or trust) can give you equipment and adaptations, or you can use direct payments to pay for them.
If you own your home and need larger adaptations, such as a stairlift, walk-in shower or having doors widened, you can apply for a Disabled Facilities Grant. Scotland has its own help for this called the 'scheme of assistance'.
If you live in a council or housing association property, your landlord should carry out these adaptations. Ask your housing officer how to apply for them.
If you rent privately your landlord must make changes that are 'reasonable adjustments' or let you pay for them. Private landlords can get help with these costs, for example a Disabled Facilities Grant.
Some councils run day centres. Most of them offer a range of social and leisure activities. You might choose to buy daytime activities and support in the community instead of going to a day centre. If you qualify to use a day service, your council can arrange for you to a visit a centre to see if this is something you'd like.
A paid carer can come to your home to help you stay independent. They can help with:
- personal care (getting in or out of bed, washing, showering, dressing, eating or using the toilet)
- cleaning or preparing meals
- food shopping
- taking medication
- driving you or helping you get about
- supporting you so that your family carer can have a break
You decide the hours this person works for you and what you'd like them to do. You can use your direct payments to hire a 'personal assistant' (PA) to do these things. Or they could come from your council or a care agency. If they do, cleaning, shopping and transport may not be included.
Short breaks (respite care)
If a partner, friend or member of your family regularly gives you help, your council might arrange a break or 'respite care'. This could be for a morning or afternoon each week or longer.
Options could include support in your own home, or you stay in a care home, while they go away, or you go to a day care centre, or you get help that lets you or your carer have a holiday.
If you need a lot of support, your council might suggest residential care. You'll move out of your home permanently to live in a new home with 24-hour care, or a place adapted to meet your needs.
You have the right to ask for your needs to be met in your own home if you want this and it's practical. You shouldn't be forced into a residential care home. But if you do decide on a care home, you should get a choice of places.
You can ask to go into a residential care home, but if you want your council to pay for it they'll have to do an assessment.