Somerset County Council

Home care and support

We want to support people to live their lives as independently as possible. We can provide advice and information and tell you how to find facilities and community services that can support you. Sometimes people may need support from services that we provide.

If you are eligible these are some of the services that we can arranged for you.

  • Care at Home (home care) 
  • Somerset Community Meals Service 
  • Equipment to help you live independently 
  • Support for carers 
  • Sitting Service 
  • Help in Crisis 
  • Short breaks 
  • Daytime support and activities 
  • Personal Budgets
You may prefer to arrange your own care and you could do this by using a Direct Payment.

For more information about any of these services please click on the links in the 'related services' section of this page.

Care at Home used to be called 'home care'. Care workers can help you with your personal care and some practical household tasks that help you stay in your own home and be as independent as possible. This is often for a short time until you can manage for yourself again, or it can sometimes be for longer.

Care at Home helps you with things that you now find more difficult or can no longer do, such as getting up and dressed or to support your carer with these tasks or to give them a break. We pay registered care providers to provide your care.

The care staff can help you with your personal care, for example, helping you to:

  • Wash
  • Get to the toilet
  • Get out of bed and dressed
  • Undress and get into bed
  • Do these things for yourself again

They will help you to be as independent as possible. We do not normally provide domestic help like bed-making, cleaning, laundry or shopping.

If you are having difficulties doing your shopping it may be worth having it delivered by a local shop or ordering it online. To do that you will have to contact them or visit their website if they have one. 

Who can use it?

Services are for older people, adults and children with a physical disability or sensory loss. You will need to have a care assessment to help us decide if you qualify for the service.

How do I use it?

We use a number of private organisations to provide Care at Home. They are all registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) to provide the service and they all have contracts with the Council.

The care staff are experienced and trained to care for people in their own homes. Care workers will help you to do the things that you used to do for yourself and will help you to do them yourself again.

To start with, when you have Care at Home you will be helped by members of a specialist team. This team will continue to assess the care you have to make sure that it is right for you. They may change the level of care you have depending on what you need.

When the team are sure that you are getting the right amount of help, they will arrange for you to receive your care from a regular group of carers within a timeframe that you agree with.

The time your carer will visit should be agreed between you an the specialist team during the early part of your care.

These times are a guide:

  • Getting up: between 7am and 10am 
  • Lunch: between 12 noon and 2pm 
  • Tea: between 4pm and 6.30pm 
  • Going to bed: the time can be agreed between you and the carer but will not be later that 9.30pm and it shouldn't be before the time you have asked for it to be. 

The exact times of your visits may vary depending on your needs and the demands on the Care at Home service.

If you have needs that must be met at definite times, for example medical, special diets or things you have to do at fixed times, this can agreed with your care worker. However, your care worker is allowed to visit up to half an hour before or after that time. Please, only phone the care provider if your care worker is more than half an hour early or late.

If you qualify for domestic help, the care worker will arrange a time to visit you outside the personal care time bands.

How much does it cost?

If you have care from the Rapid or Initial Response (specialist) team there is no charge for this service.

People with savings of £23,250 or more (the 2013/14 level) will then be supported to make their own care arrangements and pay the full cost of their care, otherwise:

  • If you have not had care at home before, you will be financially assessed by a member of the Financial and Assessment and Benefits (FAB) team who will tell you how much you need to pay. Your contribution will start from the date they tell you, or the date your longer-term care starts, if this is later.

To find out more please read our information sheet ‘Fairer charging for care and self-directed support at home'.

Your care provider will invoice you directly for your contribution.

You can choose to buy the Care at Home services you want privately from a Care Provider without Social Care Services being involved, or you can pay to top-up what we provide for you. The best way to top up is for us to give you a Direct Payment so you can buy care with a mixture of our money and your own.

If you buy help privately you can choose the type of help you receive and the amount you want. If you would like more information about care providers in your area, please phone us on 0845 345 9133. You can also find out about organisations that provide Care at Home on the Care Quality Commission (CQC) website.

The Somerset Care Services Directory lists the registered care providers in Somerset and provides information about how to access care services. For a paper copy please phone Somerset Direct on 0845 345 9133. You can download a copy from the 'Information and Resources' section of this page.

Help with taking medicines

If you can't take your own medicine and you are receiving a care package through us, your care worker may help you during their visit to you, but only if the following has been done:

  • Your health or social care worker has said that you need help 
  • You have signed a form saying you agree  
  • Your care worker has had the proper training

For more information please see our Information sheet 'Help with taking medicines'.


Contact: Customer Contact
Contact no: 0845 345 9133
Fax: 01823 321380
Opening Hours: Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm, Saturdays 9am to 4pm, closed Sunday.
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