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Help in your home from a carer

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Having a carer come to visit you in your home can make a huge difference to your life, especially if you have difficulty walking or getting around. It can help you stay living independently in your own home.

This type of care is known as homecare or domiciliary care or sometimes home help.

Homecare is very flexible. You might need a carer for only an hour a week or for several hours a day. You might need a live-in carer. 

When to consider help at home

You might want to consider care at home if:

  • you're finding it difficult to cope with daily routines, such as washing, dressing and getting out and about
  • you don't want to move into a care home
  • you can still get about your home and it's safe for you to live in - or it can be adapted to make it safe

How homecare can help you

A carer can visit you at home to help you with all kinds of things including:

  • getting out of bed in the morning
  • washing and dressing
  • brushing your hair
  • using the toilet
  • preparing meals and drinks
  • remembering to take your medicines
  • doing your shopping
  • collecting prescriptions or your pension
  • getting out, for example to a lunch club
  • getting settled in the evening and ready for bed

View the help in your home from a carer directory of local services and organisations

Home help

This is slightly different to homecare and means day-to-day domestic tasks that you may need a helping hand with such as:

  • cleaning (including putting on clean bed sheets)
  • doing the washing up
  • doing the laundry
  • gardening

You might want some home help instead of or as well as homecare.

How the council can help

If you want the council to help with homecare for you, start by asking for a needs assessment.

Your needs assessment will help decide whether you're eligible for care.

If you're eligible, the council may recommend help at home from a paid carer. They will arrange the homecare for you.

If you're not eligible for care, the council will still give you free advice about where you can get help in your community.

Even if you're intending to make arrangements yourself with an agency or private carer, it's still a good idea to have a needs assessment as it will help you to explain to the agency or carer what kind of help you need.

Paying for homecare

Depending on your circumstances, the council may contribute to the cost of homecare or you may have to pay for it yourself.

What you will contribute depends on your income and savings. The council will work this out in a financial assessment.

If the council is paying for some or all of your homecare, they will give you a care and support plan.

This sets out what your needs are, how they will be met and your personal budget (the amount the council thinks your care should cost).

You can choose to receive your personal budget as a direct payments each month. This gives you the control to employ someone you know to care for you at home rather than using a homecare agency, though you'll then have responsibilities as an employer.

If you aren't eligible for the council to contribute to your homecare costs, you will have to pay for it yourself.

Benefits that can help you with homecare

Check if you're eligible for benefits.

Some, such as Attendance Allowance and Personal Independence Payments, aren't means tested and they can help you meet the costs of homecare.

Find out how to apply for:

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