Home care services to help you stay in your own home

Most of us want to live independent lives in our own homes for as long as possible. Whether you’re recovering from an illness or a fall, or you need help with your long-term care, there are various support services to help you do this.

What is home care (or domiciliary care)?

Home care (also known as domiciliary care) describes care services that enable people to live in their own homes.

These are usually provided by care workers or nurses. Home care can include everything from help with cleaning the house once a week, to visits several times a day to help with washing, dressing and other personal care tasks.

Receiving care in your home is an increasingly common alternative to staying in hospital or moving into a care home.

Not only do you avoid any upheaval and stay in familiar surroundings, it can also be a cheaper alternative to residential care.

What home care services are available ?

The services you’re offered will be based on an assessment carried out by your local council’s social services department (or Health and Social Care Trust in Northern Ireland).

It’s called a ‘package of care’ and will be written into your personal care plan.

Services can include help with:

  • getting out of bed in the morning, washing and dressing
  • toileting and using continence aids
  • preparing meals and drinks
  • eating and drinking
  • picking up prescriptions
  • giving, or prompting to take, prescribed medication
  • health-related tasks, as agreed with medical practitioners or community nursing nurses
  • nursing care from a registered nurse
  • shopping
  • collecting pensions
  • money, managing and paying bills
  • getting out of the house and meeting friends
  • supervision and companionship
  • getting settled for the evening and going to bed.

Paying for domiciliary care in your own home

How much you have to pay will depend on:

  • your health and mobility
  • the value of your assets, and
  • the level of help and support that you need.

Your local council might pay some or all the costs, but you might also have to pay for all the services yourself.

It’s important to make sure you claim all the benefits you’re entitled to – Attendance Allowance and Disability Living Allowance (or Personal Independence Payment) are the most common.

How to arrange long-term care at home

Apply for support from your local council –this is usually the social services department (or Health and Social Care Trust in Northern Ireland).

Before they can help, they must carry out an assessment of your care needs.

Even if you’ll be arranging and paying for the care yourself, it’s still a good idea to have an assessment. This will help you understand and decide what sort of care and support you need, and what’s available.

After the care needs assessment, you’ll also have a financial assessment to determine whether you need to pay for your own care, or whether your local council will contribute.

If your local council (or your Health and Social Care Trust in Northern Ireland) agrees to fund some or all your care services, you’ll be offered the choice of:

  • the council providing the services directly to you, or
  • receiving direct payments from the council, and arranging and paying for your care and support services yourself.

Funding your own care at home – other things to think about

There are various options if you have to pay for your own care at home, including:

  • an immediate needs annuity – available from some insurance companies that guarantee to pay care fees at a given level for as long as they are needed in exchange for a one off lumpsum payment.
  • downsizing to a smaller home – for example, a bungalow to release funds to pay for your care
  • an appropriate equity release scheme –  if you’re a homeowner
  • insurance policies you or a spouse might have set up a long time ago.

More information about care at home

There’s more information on these websites:

Home care, adaptations and equipment

If you need to make your home more accessible, or you need specialist equipment to help you manage day-to-day tasks more safely and easily, you might be entitled to financial help.

What is available will vary depending on where you in the UK you live.

Was this information useful?
Thank you for your feedback.
We’re always trying to improve our website and services, and your feedback helps us understand how we’re doing.
Looking for us? Now, we’re MoneyHelper

MoneyHelper is the new, easy way to get clear, free,
impartial help for all your money and pension choices.
Whatever your circumstances or plans, move forward with MoneyHelper.

Continue to website
Looking for us? Now, we’re MoneyHelper

MoneyHelper is the new, easy way to get clear, free,
impartial help for all your money and pension choices.
Whatever your circumstances or plans, move forward with MoneyHelper.

Continue to website
Looking for us? Now, we’re MoneyHelper

MoneyHelper is the new, easy way to get clear, free,
impartial help for all your money and pension choices.
Whatever your circumstances or plans, move forward with MoneyHelper.

Continue to website
Talk to us live for…
Talk to us live for…
Talk to us live for pensions guidance using…
Talk to us live for money guidance using…
0800 011 3797* Hours
  • Mon – Fri:9.00am – 5.00pm
  • Sat, Sun and bank holidays:Closed

* Calls are free. We’re committed to providing you with a quality service, so calls may be recorded or monitored for training purposes and to help us develop our services.

Talk to us live for money guidance using the telephone
0800 138 7777* Hours
  • Mon – Fri:8.00am – 6.00pm
  • Sat, Sun and bank holidays:Closed

* Calls are free. We’re committed to providing you with a quality service, so calls may be recorded or monitored for training purposes and to help us develop our services.

Talk to us live for pensions guidance using web chat
Hours
  • Mon – Fri:9.00am – 6.00pm
  • Sat, Sun and bank holidays:Closed
Talk to us live for money guidance using web chat
Hours
  • Mon – Fri:8.00am – 6.00pm
  • Sat:8.00am – 3.00pm
  • Sun and bank holidays:Closed
Talk to us for pensions guidance using our web form

We aim to respond within 5 working days

Talk to us for money guidance using our web form

We aim to respond within 2 working days

Talk to us live for money guidance using WhatsApp
+44 77 0134 2744

Download app: WhatsApp

For help sorting out your debts, credit questions or pensions guidance. For everything else please contact us via Webchat or Telephone.