Finding the Right Care at Home for Your Loved Ones

There are almost 10,000 care at home providers operating in England, also known as homecare or domiciliary care providers, offering a huge range of services.

Home care is ideal for people who wish to stay living in their own homes but would like some help with day-to-day living.

Health Compare features many of the care at home providers across the country. Our search results are initially presented in order of highest quality of care, nearest to the postcode you enter. We list their contact details and website where we know them, their Care Quality Commission (CQC) summary report, recognised user ratings where available and whether they have a registered manager in post.

Our listings are not sponsored in any way, meaning we don't offer providers the opportunity to pay extra to appear at the top of the search results.

About Care at Home Companies

All care at home staff are required to be Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS, formerly known as Criminal Records Bureau or CRB) checked, meaning that they have to be assessed to work in people's homes. Care at home companies are also regulated; in England, this is done by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) which independently assesses each provider. Health Compare shows the provider's CQC rating and incorporates the CQC report summary into the search results.

In order to identify appropriate care at home provision, a needs assessment is likely to be performed by either the provider or social services.

Types of Care

There are seven main types of care.

  • Personal care
  • Companionship care
  • Dementia care
  • Respite home care
  • Live-in care
  • Nursing care
  • Shared lives
  • Personal care

Personal Care

Personal care is about helping with daily tasks such as dressing, cooking and eating, using the toilet, that are made more difficult with age or illness. If necessary through reduced mobility, hoists may be used to help move patients around. All of this is done in a manner which respects a person's dignity.

Companionship Care

Companionship care is about ensuring that a loved one has regular contact if they are lonely, or at risk of becoming lonely. This may be ideal if the person is not looking to move into a care home or retirement village. It may be appropriate to provide this care alongside other care services.

Dementia Care

The Alzheimer's Society believes there to be over 850,000 people currently living with dementia in the UK. Care at home for dementia care is provided by specially trained care workers who will endeavour to ensure that the patient maintains a day-to-day routine and quality of life. Dementia sufferers can exhibit challenging behaviour and the care staff are trained to deal with this, whilst getting to know the patient so that they can understand what situations trigger this behaviour and learn how to help and make the patient feel secure.

Dementia presents itself in many forms and there are a wide variety of care at home solutions specifically designed for each. Care at home may be suitable to those people where a care home setting may not be appropriate, perhaps, for example, for people and families living with early onset dementia.

Respite Home Care

If you or a loved one are recovering from an illness or surgery, respite care may be necessary for a period of time. If you are caring full time for a loved one, then respite care can be put in place to give you a break if you have other commitments, or if you just need a break.

Live-In Care

If your loved one needs 24 hour care then live-in care may be the best option. This care allows your loved one to remain in their home and have someone maintain the home and look after their needs.

Live-in care may require changes in your home as a room will need to be provided for the appropriate carer.

Nursing Care

Whilst care workers can perform some aspects of medical care, including administering medications and treating wounds, some medical needs require nursing care.

Nursing care will be performed by a registered nurse who will visit your home to perform the specific nursing care task required.

Shared Lives

Shared lives care is where the person who requires care goes and lives with the carer and their family; this enables them to interact with and enjoy life with a family. This type of care may be most suited to people who have left the care system and need some stability over a short period. This type of care helps establish routines, independence and the opportunity to learn new skills.

Funding your Care at Home

Care at Home costs are not fully funded, however, if you have assets below £23,250, subject to a needs assessment, you may be eligible for at least some of the costs of care. You should contact your local authority's social care team for more information on suitability and available funding options.

That said, even if you can afford to self fund your care, you may still be eligible for a local authority contribution, however, everything starts with a needs assessment.

Needs Assessment

A social services needs assessment can be requested from your local authority.

To start this process, you will need to contact your local social care team. You can start the process, by entering your postcode here. This link will direct you to your local authority website and their social care team.

A needs assessment will help determine the appropriate level of care required and will cover things such as:

  • cleaning and shopping
  • disability equipment and adaptations to your home
  • day centres to give you or the person who cares for you a break
  • day care for your child
  • help with parenting, such as parenting classes
  • care homes

If it is clear in the needs assessment that you are eligible for NHS Continuing Healthcare (CHC) then the social care team will refer you to the NHS. If this is the case, then your care at home may be funded in part or whole by the NHS.

Means Testing

If you have assets exceeding £23,250 then you will be expected to fund your care yourself, however, there may still be ways to do this, including releasing equity in your home, without having to sell your property. With care at home funding assessments it is important to note that the value of the property you live in as your main or only home is disregarded. Personal possessions are disregarded too as long as they were not bought with the intention of avoiding future social care charges. Also, the local authority cannot include income and capital belonging to your partner in the financial assessment. A local authority has discretion whether to charge for certain services, the local authority must explain each decision. Some services may be free.

If your assets are below £23,250, you may be eligible for a contribution toward your care costs from your local authority, but if your assets are below £14,250 you will pay nothing.

Read on for more information on funding issues.

Continuing Healthcare

Continuing Health Care (CHC) applies if your needs test has identified that you have ongoing health needs that means you or your loved one are unable to continue to care for yourself. This might be because of a chronic illness or due to a recent hospitalisation - if you or your loved one are hospitalised then the CHC assessment should be carried out before you are discharged. Continuing Healthcare can be provided in a variety of settings, including your own home.

Funded Nursing

If you don't meet the criteria for CHC but you definitely need nursing care, then you may be eligible for a contribution toward your nursing care from the NHS, called “funded nursing”. However, this funding is designed to assist funding of care within a Nursing home not at a person’s own home. Therefore this funding support is likely only to be available for periods spent within a Nursing home.

More information about CHC, funded nursing or funding your care at home can be found on the Age UK website, or you can read their fact sheet on CHC and funded nursing.

Health Compare

Health compare have collated details on care at home companies across England to help you choose well. We organise the data based on the quality of care and distance from your postcode, but you are able to search based upon various key criteria.

Unlike some other sites that list care at home data, none of our search results are sponsored, so you will always be presented with an unbiased view, rankings being entirely based on the search criteria selected that is most important to you.

Last updated: 14.01.2021