If you require help with everyday living – from simple things like shopping or cooking a hot meal to help getting in or out of bed and washing and dressing – local authorities in England, Wales and Scotland have a duty of care to carry out a care needs assessment regardless of your (or your relatives) financial circumstances.
One person’s care needs may vary enormously from another’s and it can be helpful to consider all the options at an early stage. These needs can also vary during periods of illness and can progress with the duration of time.
The needs assessment will look at your current situation and the support you have available to you or your relatives. Based on the findings, certain services may be identified and the local authority will then provide these. Local authorities will have a duty to provide some services, whereas others may be more discretionary and subject to a charge.
These services can range from home based help such as Meals on Wheels and equipment for the home, to residential care facilities. You should be provided with all the information you need to enable you or your family to make the most appropriate decision.
Sources and further reading
• The National Health and Community Care Act 1990
• Financial matters
• Care at home
• Carers support
• Types of accommodation
• Standards of care
• Your rights