Care and support - what it means

Care and support describes the help you may need to live as well as possible even with an illness or disability, so that you can stay healthy and remain independent for longer.

Examples of care and support include:

  • getting out of bed
  • washing
  • dressing
  • getting to work
  • cooking meals
  • eating
  • seeing friends
  • caring for families
  • being part of the community
  • keeping your home clean and safe.

It might also include emotional support at a time of difficulty and stress or helping people who are caring for an adult family member or friend.

Who receives care and support

At some point in our lives each of us may need to receive an element of care and support.

You may benefit from care and support if you:

  • have been in hospital
  • had a recent illness
  • are becoming frail due to age.

How care and support is provided

The way care and support is provided reflects people’s needs. People are now living for longer and with a better quality of life.

The Care Act makes care and support, and the way we pay for it, clearer, easier to access and more consistent.

If you’re eligible to receive care and support services, you'll have a say over what sort of help you get. We want you to be involved in how support and care is designed; putting you in control of the help you receive. 

Who provides care and support

Who provides care and support varies. For example, it includes the help given by family and friends, as well as any provided by care agencies, other local organisations in the community or charities. Sometimes it is provided by specialist teams who help you at home, a Personal Assistant or people who run activities and interest groups or community support services. The Care and Support in Brighton & Hove leaflet (PDF 1.5MB) lists many organisations that can provide support to older people and people with a disability.

Paying for care and support

Different ways to pay for care and support are available. For example, you may choose to pay using a personal budget, which means you get an amount based on your needs and can choose which care and support services to spend it on.

You could use deferred payments so that you do not have to sell your home in your lifetime to pay for long-term care.

There is also financial help available for people who give unpaid care and support to an adult family member or friend.

Care and support provided by the NHS

As well as care and support organised by us, some people are also eligible to receive help from the NHS.

This help may be a nursing service for people who are ill or recovering at home after leaving hospital. It could include things like changing the dressings on wounds or giving medication. Your GP or Community Nurse can tell you if you are eligible for this kind of help.

Additional information

Adult Social Care Services: The Direction of Travel 2016 - 2020 (PDF 100KB)

Adult Social Care Services: The Direction of Travel 2016 - 2020: Easy read version (PDF 10MB)

General information about the Care Act on GOV.UK

How the Care Act affects carers: frequently asked questions