Adult Social Care’s role is to support people’s independence and wellbeing, and to enable them to live in the community with as much dignity, choice and control as possible.
Some people may need support to achieve this. Support may range from providing help to enable you to take part in activities and events in your local community, or helping you stay in touch with friends and family, or arranging practical help with everyday tasks, such as washing, getting dressed, and preparing meals.
Support available locally
There are many organisations and resources in your local area that can provide support and help. This might include giving you advice and guidance on a whole range of subjects, practical support to get about and be active in the community, and help with wellbeing and emotional issues, and much more.
People First website
We know that it can be difficult finding out what all these organisations are. That’s why we have created the ‘People First’ website. People First is Kensington and Chelsea and Westminster City Council’s information and resource directory. It has been designed to help you find information on a whole range of health and social care topics, including:
- Health and wellbeing
- Looking after someone (being a carer)
- Money and legal matters
- Being at home
- Work and learning
- Staying safe
And much more. It also provides information on local groups, activities and services within both Kensington and Chelsea and Westminster communities.
The site is updated regularly with new services, activities and events, and topical information and advice.
Equipment to help you at home
A common problem for many people is that they find it increasingly difficult to do the things they used to do at home. If you find that you are having difficulty with day-to-day activities such as for example:
- Having a bath or a shower
- Getting around your home
- Going up and down the stairs
Specialist Equipment and adaptations to your home could help you live more independently and confidently. To encourage you to feel safer, and help you get out and about.
There are many types of equipment that might help, such as:
- Bath seats
- Trolleys for carrying things around your home
- Raised toilet seats and commodes
- Specially adapted beds and chairs
- Grab rails around your home to help your stability
AskSara provided by the Disabled Living Foundation is a quick and easy-to-use online ‘guided’ service that enables you to find out what equipment may benefit you, and where you can try it, and buy it locally.
Support available from the Council
If you feel you are unable to cope at home, you may be eligible to receive support from the Council.
We will ask you questions to see if your current state of health affects your daily life and common daily tasks. This conversation with you is an ‘assessment’. We use this conversation to determine your needs and whether you are eligible for help from us.
You need to show that:
- your needs arise from (or are related to) a physical or mental impairment or illness, and
- the issues you face have a significant impact on your wellbeing, and
- you are unable to achieve two or more of the following activities:
- eating and drinking
- maintaining personal hygiene, e.g washing and bathing
- managing toilet needs
- being appropriately clothed
- being able to make use of your home safely, e.g using the stairs
- maintaining a habitable home environment, e.g keeping your home clean
- developing or maintaining family or other personal relationships
- accessing and engaging in work, training, education or volunteering
- making use of necessary facilities or services in the local community. This can include public transport and recreational services
- carrying out caring responsibilities for a child.
A social worker will meet with you to discuss your situation in detail as part of your assessment and see whether you are eligible for help.
All local authorities in the country use the same eligibility criteria to ensure it is fair and impartial no matter where you live.
What if I am not eligible?
If you do not meet the criteria, we will still give you information and advice and help you find services in the community, some of which may be free. We may also be able to provide you with some equipment without the need for a full assessment if that will meet your needs.
Paying for social care
Unlike most NHS services, most support from the Council for your care needs is usually not free.
Following your assessment, we will ask you to complete a financial assessment. This is to conduct a ‘means test’ and work out how much you may have to pay towards your care and support. This is often called ‘your contribution’.
Based on your financial assessment, we may also contribute towards the cost of your care if your circumstances mean you are not able to pay for it all.
We will not contribute if:
- You have savings or assets (e.g property) over £23,250
- You choose not to tell us about all of your financial assets
- You choose not to have a financial assessment
If you are not eligible for financial support from the Council, you will need to pay for your care and support services yourself. People who are not eligible for financial support are ‘self-funding’. Self-funders can still get information and advice from the Council.
The Care Act
The Care Act 2014 sets out our duty as a council to assess people’s needs and their eligibility for publicly funded care and support.
It says we must assess anyone who appears to require care. Support and focus the assessment on their needs and how they impact on their wellbeing, and the outcomes they want to achieve.
The Act aims to improve people’s independence and wellbeing. To support them staying in their own homes for as long as possible.
The Act makes it clear that we must provide, or arrange services that help prevent a person from developing increasing needs for care and support, or which delay the need for such services.
Community engagement - help from your local area
There’s a lot happening in Kensington and Chelsea and our Community Engagement pages are a great resource to help you get the most from your local area. It includes information on faith communities to volunteering opportunities and even schemes to encourage local horticulture.
Local Healthwatch is a consumer champion organisation for users of health and social care services which helps residents make choices about services, and supports individuals who want to make a complaint.