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Care and Support

‘Care and support’ is the term used to describe the help some adults need to live as well as possible with any illness or disability they may have. It can include help with things like getting out of bed, washing, dressing, getting to work, cooking meals, eating, seeing friends, caring for families and being part of the community.

It might also include emotional support at a time of difficulty and stress, helping people who are caring for an adult family member or friend or even giving others a lift to a social event.

Care and support includes the help given by family and friends, as well as any provided by the council or other organisations.

Your wellbeing

Many of us will need care and support at some point in our lives and most people will pay at least something towards the cost of their care. The new national changes are designed to help you plan for the future and put you more in control of the help you receive. Any decisions about your care and support will consider your wellbeing and what is important to you and your family, so you can stay healthy and remain independent for longer.

If you receive care and support, or you support someone as a carer, you could benefit from the changes.

You could benefit from the changes if you:

  • receive care and support

  • support someone as a carer

  • are planning for future care and support

The Care Act

The Care Act represents the most significant reform of care and support in more than 60 years, putting people and their carers in control of their care and support. For the first time, the Act will put a limit on the amount anyone will have to pay towards the costs of their care.

The Care Act came into effect from 1 April 2015 and the key parts of the act are:

  • A focus on preventing or delaying the need for support.
  • Carers given significant new entitlements with the aim that they are supported in their caring role
  • Councils to provide an information and advice service, this should include how people can access independent financial advice
  • Councils should facilitate and promote the development of a diverse market for care and support services
  • Where people are eligible to provide them with an independent advocate
  • A new national level of care and support needs to make care and support more consistent across the country
  • Deferred payment agreements that will enable people to use the value of their homes to help pay care home costs

Major reforms to the way that social care is funded will be effective from April 2020 (this was originally to come into effect from April 2016,) including:

  • A lifetime ‘cap’ of no more than £72,000 for individuals on reasonable care costs to meet their eligible needs, and
  • An increase in the capital threshold for people in residential care who own their own home.
  • Separation of responsibility for care costs from accommodation costs.

For more information please see the Frequently Asked Questions below:

Department of Health information on the Care Act:


The Care Act - a short introduction

Please note that the care cap part of the Care Act has been delayed until April 2020