Support in your home
As we get older it can become more difficult to complete some everyday 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:
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 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 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
Agencies will charge different amounts depending on the type of care required. Personal care and nursing care is sometimes more expensive than, for example, help with cleaning your home 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.
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.
Home care agencies in your area
You can find details of agencies that may be able to help you in our People who can help section. Do a search using the words ''domiciliary care' in the search box at the top of this page for an extensive list of local home care agencies or click on this link.
Using the Care Quality Commission website
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 which you can see on its website; this report will tell you what the agency does well, and about any areas where they need to improve their standards.
You can use the Care Quality Commission (CQC) website to 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.
The CQC have produced a leaflet about the standard of care you should expect in your home. Click here to download the leaflet.
Using the NHS Choices website
The NHS website also 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.
The At Home Service from Age UK
The At Home Service from Age UK offers a range of personally tailored packages of care and support for older people in the Kensington and Chelsea, Hammersmith & Fulham and Westminster areas.
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.
Your local council has produced a leaflet with information about home care services, and how you can access them:-
The HomeCareDirect website 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.
HomeTouch is an online service that helps people select and contract with a qualified, vetted carer or personal assistant of their choice. HomeTouch checks the qualifications and references of carers / personal assistants before signing them up. The service is particularly useful for people who are organising their care using a personal budget, personal health budget, or direct payment, or for people who pay for their care themselves.
The following websites provide independent advice on all aspects of arranging support in your home:-
- The NHS website
- The Which website
The Which website also offers advice on how to spot poor standards of care, and on how to make a complaint if you are not happy with the care you receive.
Action on Hearing Loss provide information on accessing care and support at home.
If you struggle to get out to the shops then Pay Your Way offers a guide on safe ways in which you can allow other people to pay for things on your behalf.
If you would like to receive independent advice on accessing care and support, or on benefits, legal issues, housing, and a range of other issues, then you can contact the Westminster CAB