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Social care ensures everyone who needs extra care is supported, including older adults and anyone living with a disability.
The social care sector can include different types of support, such as through personal care, social work and financial assistance.
In this article, we’ve explored this topic. We’ve looked at how it works, the different providers, whether you’re eligible and how to find an appropriate service for you or a loved one.
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Social care services are aimed at people who need some extra help navigating everyday life. This often includes older adults or people with a disability. Social care is also directed towards unpaid or informal carers who look after someone else and require some much-needed assistance to continue doing so.
In these instances, social care can offer support with:
Social care helps people live happier and more meaningful lives.
The six C’s in health and social care are:
These should be followed by people within the healthcare space (such as nurses in nursing homes).
There are several different types. Depending on your individual needs, you may benefit from help around the home with chores like cleaning, gaining access to specialist equipment or full-time residential care.
Social care can be self-funded or paid for by your local council.
Below, we’ve looked at the two main types of social care in the UK and how each of these works.
This comprises several different care services within the UK, including:
Elderly care is included within this space, but there are also older-adult-specific facilities such as nursing homes (which are usually exclusively aimed at adults above a certain age e.g. 65+). Similarly, dementia care homes tend to have more older adults than people of other age groups.
Local councils or authorities may need to provide certain services to young people who require them, including children who have a disability. These services could include:
Social care support workers support individuals (including children and older adults) and their families. Often, they’ll be considered key figures within their community as a whole.
They’ll also provide services for people with physical and mental health problems.
They help people become more independent, feel more included in society and be more in control of their own lives.
You may find social workers in one of these settings:
The following skills are essential to be an amazing social worker:
In Northern Ireland, local health services are provided by the Health and Social Care Trust.
In general, there are four main kinds of care providers in the UK. Below, we’ve gone over each of these.
These provide accommodation, personal care services and general support to older adults, as well as people who are no longer able to independently live in their own homes.
The degree of care offered, the type of care and the size will vary from home to home.
Along with offering much-needed support, some care homes will also provide fun social activities such as baking or cooking, arts and crafts, exercise classes, card games and gardening.
Here are some of the care homes we’re partnered with that offer a variety of social care support services for residents:
This type of care home alternative is aimed at people who need some extra help in their day-to-day lives, but can still live independently for the most part. Assisted living enables people to lead fulfilling lives in later life.
The amount of care provided can be increased or decreased, depending on individual needs and requirements.
Here, people can continue living in their own homes while remaining as independent as possible.
Support is offered where needed, including through things like:
In some cases, home modifications can be made so people are able to continue living safely at home. These modifications may include stairlifts, hoists, ramps or handrails.
Community care is aimed at people with physical disabilities, learning difficulties or mental health issues.
This type of service is only provided during the day. At day care, assistance is provided for people with physical or emotional needs. This could include disabled individuals or people who require rehabilitation following an illness or accident.
At a day care centre, residents also benefit from plenty of socialisation, thanks to fun communal activities that are regularly organised. Meals are usually provided as well.
In England and Wales, you’re eligible for social care if:
Eligibility criteria in England:
Eligibility criteria in Wales:
You might be eligible for local council funding towards the cost of your care. In England, this will be the case if your savings (or that of your loved one) are less than £23,250 (this is known as the upper capital limit).
You’ll want to get a care needs assessment to find out how much help you require. A financial assessment will then work out whether the council will pay towards your care. If the answer to this is yes, they might arrange it as well.
Depending on where you live in the UK, social care is regulated by a different body.
Scotland - The Care Inspectorate
Wales - Care Inspectorate Wales
Northern Ireland - The Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA)
You have the right to complain about an organisation you believe to have provided a poor standard of care.
Health and social care services must have a procedure in place for dealing with complaints.
One way to complain is by directly contacting the service provider. If your local council arranged or funded the care, you can instead complain through them. Another method is to complain through the CQC (or the equivalent organisation, depending on whereabouts you live in the UK).
Through social care, people can lead fulfilling lives. They’ll be encouraged to do things they wouldn’t normally be able to do - things most people take for granted.
Emotional and physical support helps people feel better and more confident. Otherwise, many people face feelings of isolation and struggle to feel confident in themselves.
Many people are only able to properly look after themselves with this form of support, often due to a lack of assistance and funding. Everyone should have access to basic needs, and people are less likely to feel neglected and ignored if these are being met.
We’re on a mission to support individuals and their loved ones throughout each stage of their later living journey. For more information, check out everything Lottie has to offer.