Adult social care explained
When people think of adult social care, they often think of residential care homes or nursing homes for the elderly.
However adult social care also includes supporting anyone aged 18 or over with care and support needs.
This can range from personal care, such as washing or dressing, to supporting people to stay active and able to live a full life.
Who it is for
Adult social care provides support to people who for example:
- need help to stay living at home as they get older
- have a long term condition or disability
- have mental health conditions
- need short term support, such as after a fall or a stay in hospital
It can also help support those who care for an adult with social care needs.
What it includes
Adult social care support may include:
- personal care
- care homes
- supported accommodation (for example extra care housing)
- support to manage daily living tasks
- occupational therapy
- support to engage in social and community activities
How it is provided
Social care is delivered by voluntary and private sector organisations, friends and family and local authorities. This is alongside and working together with the NHS including community health services.
Anyone who requests social care from us will need an assessment. Read more about how adult care and support needs are assessed.
Paying for adult social care
Social care is not free at the point of use. It is likely you will have to contribute something towards the costs. How much you pay depends on your financial situation.
We carry out a financial assessment (also called a means test) to work out whether you are eligible for financial support from us towards the cost of care, and how much you may have to contribute yourself.
You do not have to tell us about your financial situation if you do not want to, but if this is the case we will assume that you are able to afford to pay for your care yourself.
If you have long-term, complex health needs the NHS may also contribute to funding.
How to find care service providers and arrange your care
Most social care service providers are private companies, but some are charity or voluntary sector owned.
We have information about the types of care available, who provides it locally and how to get in touch with them on our information for adults, children and families website. This includes:
- home care
- support services to help at home
- shopping independently
- the South Gloucestershire falls service
- NHS continuing healthcare (CHC)
- living with dementia
- palliative care
We can help you if you cannot or do not want to arrange your care yourself. Even if you are not entitled to financial support from us due to being over the threshold for savings and assets, you can still ask us to arrange your care.
This is not a free service, however. We charge an arrangement fee and an annual administration fee.
Our adult social care services
The services we are responsible for as a local authority include:
- advice and guidance about adult social care services and who provides them locally
- assessments of people’s care needs and a care plan for how those needs could be met
- support with the cost of care for those who are financially eligible
- helping to arrange care when requested or needed
In South Gloucestershire we also provide:
- advice about technology that can help you stay living safely at home
- an occupational therapy assessment focussed on maintaining and improving independence
- a community meals service (meals on wheels)