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It can be hard to admit that you’re not coping with normal daily activities as well as you once did, even to yourself.

Perhaps you’re finding it difficult to get in and out of the bath, or are struggling to prepare simple meals or get yourself dressed in the morning. Maybe you are forgetting to take your medication.

Even if you are finding it hard to carry out everyday tasks like this, it doesn’t mean you can’t continue to live safely and independently at home with the right level of support.

Getting help from social services

Local councils have a duty to provide care and support to those who need it and to the carers who support them.

They will look at your circumstances and find out what you think is important to your well-being.

They will then consider what you can do for yourself and what help and support you need to ensure your well-being.

Supporting you at home

Personal care services can be provided in your own home (including in sheltered housing or an extra care scheme) or in a residential care setting.

If you receive support services in your own home, you might also hear care workers refer to them as community care or domiciliary care services.

Maintaining high standards of care

Personal care is not the same as nursing care and does not require the skills or knowledge of a registered nurse, however, your carers will be trained to provide personal care.

Home (personal) care services are regulated services, which means they are registered with and inspected regularly by the Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales (CSSIW)

Paying for personal care services

Unlike nursing care, personal care is not free at the point of delivery. Depending on your financial circumstances, your local council might charge you; however, no-one with savings under £24,000 will be asked to pay more than £80 per week (April 2018).

If you are not eligible for financial support because your income and savings are too high, you can ask your local council for help to arrange your personal care services but you will have to pay the full cost.

The Care Inspectorate Wales (CIW) has a directory of registered care services.

Direct payments

If you are eligible for personal care services and financial support towards their cost, you may prefer to organise your services yourself. Direct payments will allow you more choice and control over the services you receive, for example, enabling you to employ a personal assistant.

Short-term support

It’s not unusual to need personal care on a short-term basis, e.g. when you have had an operation or have been ill. Reablement services help with getting you back on your feet after a fall, illness or accident and are usually free of charge; however, you do need to be referred to the service by a social worker or health professional.

Last updated: 24/09/2018