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Accessing care

Source: Department for Health and Social Care

Updated 8 December 2021

Social care affects over ten million people in England at any one time. This includes people who receive care, people who work in social care, and unpaid carers.

While some people need to access care and support throughout their lifetime, others have needs that develop suddenly due to illness or disability. Other people's needs may change gradually over time, for example, as we age.

Social care is there to help you live the life you want to, as independently as possible. There are a range of care and support options for you to consider.

What type of care can I receive?

The type of social care support you may need will depend on your personal circumstances. Types of social care and support could include:

  • Help at home from a paid carer, through an agency or by employing a personal assistant
  • Care homes or nursing homes
  • Sheltered housing accommodation such as extra care or supported living
  • Community support such as a day care centre or a community living scheme e.g. Shared Lives
  • Adaptions to your home such as stair lifts, wet rooms, and ramps
  • Equipment to make daily tasks easier around the house
  • Walking aids such as wheelchairs and walking sticks
  • Personal alarms and security systems to help you stay safe at home.


Find out more about the social care reforms


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