The blue tabs at the top of each page will help you to easily navigate the site. Use them to find and select the page you want.
If you can’t find what you’re after, try the search box at the top of the page – it covers everything on the wider NHS Choices site, including information on conditions and treatments, and advice to help you live a healthier lifestyle or boost your mental wellbeing.
Popular topics in this guide include:
- assessing your care needs
- planning for your future care needs
- what care services are available locally?
- care at home (homecare)
- NHS continuing healthcare
- funding care and support
Advice for carers includes:
What are care and support services?
Care and support services, also known as social care services, help people who are in need of practical support because of illness, disability, old age or a low income.
Care and support services could include having a personal assistant to help you around the home, structural changes to help you move around or manage in your house, or even an alarm system so that you can call for help if you have a fall.
Social care services are available to everyone, regardless of their background. However, social care is subject to rules about your needs and ability. Services can also support the families or carers of people who receive social care.
Find out more about what social care services are available.
How are care and support services funded?
Local authorities (councils) are responsible for providing social care services for those who need and are eligible for them. After assessing your needs and finances, the local authority may agree to pay for some or all of the care and support you need.
These council-funded social care services may be provided by “independent providers” – firms or charities that specialise in providing social care services. Find out more about funding care services.
Even though most people have to fund all or part of their own care and support, local authorities have a duty to assess everyone’s care and support needs, and advise you on relevant local services.
Social care services can take many forms – you can get help from them while living at home, while out and about in the community, or even in a new place of residence such as a care home. To find out more, read choosing care and arranging care.
Media last reviewed: 19 Aug 2016
Media review due: 19 Aug 2019