Care homes don’t suit everyone and those wanting to prolong the amount of time they spend in their own home should look into home care.

People have different reasons for looking into home care, it might be a permanent need as a result of a disability or it could be a temporary result as of illness or an accident. Regardless of the reason it’s essential that a professional assessment of your exact needs is carried out.

It will be up to the homecare agency assessing you to decide your needs and to determine what services or support can be provided to help you. Once the assessment has been carried out the council then decides whether or not it will provide or arrange for the care services to be put in place for you. The decision is made based on your assessed needs, the eligibility criteria and what has been put aside for community care services.

As frustrating as it is, budgetary constraints mean services are often restricted and may be available only to the neediest. Usually there is a secondary assessment of your needs, in the form of a means test. The council should only assess your finances once they have agreed to provide you with an agreed service.

Unfortunately there are no national timescales within which your local council must carry out the needs assessment, so it is likely the length of time you have to wait will be dependent on the urgency of your need and the risk that is presented to you because of your problems.

There are obvious advantages to receiving home care, but you should also realise that there are a number of potential setbacks that are likely to need to be addressed. For example, you might have different care workers coming and different times, or there may be occasions that the home care service fails because of staffing pressure; such pressures are likely because of staff holiday or sickness.

Carewatch, the UK’s leading provider of care and support offers help at home, health care services to thousands of people in order to support independent living. We offer elderly support and special home care to help support their independence in their own homes.