Support you can get at home
As we get older it can become more difficult to complete some day to tasks. This can also be the case if a person has a physical disability or mental health problem.
Ideally everyone wants to carry on being independent, whilst staying safe at the same time, and it is worth looking at some of the other pages in this section for ideas on how you might do this. Staying as independent as possible for as long as possible is good for us, both physically and mentally. Check out the following pages for ideas and advice:
- Regaining your independence
- Help with walking and mobility
- Equipment to help at home
- Gadgets to help you stay safe
However sometimes we have to accept that we are going to have to have someone else to assist us, partly or in full, with certain vital day to day tasks.
It may be that you have family and friends who can help, or that you can pay someone you know to provide the support which you need.
Home care agencies
Home care agencies will provide trained care workers or, when required, nurses who can come to your home to assist with tasks such as:
- shopping, cleaning, laundry, ironing
- personal care such as washing, bathing, dressing, going to the toilet, and managing any problems with incontinence
- meal preparation
- taking medication
- treating ongoing health problems which require specialist nursing input (including receiving injections, changing dressings and bandages)
- going out in the local community
Depending on your needs and your financial situation you can choose to have a care worker visit you once or twice per week, or one or more times per day, or you can arrange for someone to be with you 24 hours a day.
Choosing a home care agency
Using the Care Quality Commission
Home care agencies are run by a variety of organisations, including private firms, charities and voluntary sector organisations and local councils. They are registered and regulated in England by the Care Quality Commission (CQC). The CQC visits them regularly and writes a report about the agency. This report will tell you what the agency does well, and about any areas where they need to improve their standards.
Agencies charge different amounts depending on the type of care required. Personal care and nursing care is sometimes more expensive because the carers require additional training.
Some agencies will offer specialist support for people with particular needs, for example people with learning disabilities, people with dementia or mental health problems, or people with brain injuries.
You can search for home care agencies in your area, to see what types of support they offer, and to see if they have an up-to-date and good inspection report.
Find out about the standard of care you should expect in your home.
Using NHS Choices
NHS Choices allows you to search for home care agencies in your area, to see what other people have said about them, and to rate them yourself based on your experiences.
Age UK Sutton offers service to help people stay happy, healthy and independent both inside and outside their homes.
Support from your local council
Your local council may be able to help you to arrange support in your home. These days they will often offer you a sum of money, known as a direct payment, so that you can arrange your support yourself, rather than relying on the council to arrange it for you. If you think you might need some support you can contact your council and ask for an assessment of your needs. If you qualify for support from the council they will help you to arrange the right support for you.
Whether or not you want to approach your council you may need to pay towards the cost of your care - go to our paying for support section for more information on the options available to you.
Other information and advice
HomeCareDirect aims to help people to take control over their care at home, whether through a personal budget, personal health budget, direct payment or for people who pay for their care themselves.
The following provide independent advice on all aspects of arranging support in your home:
- Independent Age provides two important leaflets - Help At Home - What May Be Available in Your Area, and Home Care Agencies
- The Money Advice Service
- Age UK
- Alzheimers Society
- NHS Choices
- The Elderly Accommodation Counsel's directory of home services for older people
Encompass Living is a new service designed to help you navigate the care system for yourself or a relative, providing tailored, cost-effective solutions that are right for your circumstances.
Please click on the following link to be directed to the Encompass living homepage.