There may come a time when you can’t do things for yourself anymore. This may happen suddenly because you become ill or have an accident, or it may happen slowly as you get older. There are many different options available if you need some support and assistance, but how do you know which kind of support is right for you? 

Choosing the right care and support for you

Before you start looking for a solution, it’s a good idea to think about what is important to you and the things you most enjoy in your life. You may have particular interests or activities that you want to keep up, or you may simply want to spend time with your family or friends.

Thinking through what you need help with, and choosing your care and support can be very difficult. It’s a good idea to have someone to help you make these decisions, like a family member or friend. If you don’t have someone to support you, you may be able to get help from a local voluntary organisation. If you are having trouble understanding all the options, you may need someone who is trained in supporting people in this way and who can speak on your behalf.


We always recommend you approach the Council for an assessment, no matter what your circumstances or financial situation. Having an assessment is free of charge and it can help you and others understand your needs better and will help you think through the options. Even if you’re not eligible for support from the Council, we will always give you information and advice tailored to your circumstances and let you know if there are any other services which may be able to help you.


There are a number of things to consider when choosing your care and support:

Where you want to get support

Most people want to stay living in their own homes for as long as possible. Your own home is often the best place because you may have family and friends who live with you or nearby and you will be in a familiar environment. If you are staying in your own home, you may want to consider finding someone to come in and help you with daily tasks. Having someone to help you at home will mean you can stay living independently for longer.


If it starts to become too difficult for you to move around your own home, there are a range of services available to help make your home safer for you live in.


Sometimes it may not be possible to adapt your house in such a way that you can continue using it freely and you may decide that it’s better to move house. For example, you may want to move to a smaller house like a bungalow or a retirement flat, or you may consider moving to a care home. If you are thinking about moving, it's worth considering whether it is best to stay in the area you are in now, or if it would be easier for you to be nearer to shops or closer to family or friends.

Moving in with family or friends

You may decide that you would prefer to live with family or friends rather than staying on your own or moving into a care home. For some people this works well as it gives them with the opportunity to spend more time with their children and grandchildren. However, it's important to discuss your care and support needs with your family or friends to make sure they are aware of your needs, and so that additional support can be arranged for you.

You can still get the same support living with others, as you can get if you live in your own home. Shared house arrangements with friends are becoming increasingly popular amongst older people. It means you always have some company and you can share support. 

Accommodation with support 

There are a range of different accommodation options that provide a little extra support:

  • Sheltered accommodation enables people to live independently with shared facilities 
  • Extra care housing is made up of self-contained flats with on-site support
  • Shared Lives Schemes provide care and support in a different setting to where you usually live, in a Shared Lives carer's home. 

Care homes

If you feel you are no longer able to live in your own home, you may consider moving into a care home. A care home employs staff to provide the care and support you need. If you have more serious health needs, a nursing home may be more suitable for you, where you can get more specialist nursing support. 


There are websites that can help you to choose the right care and support.


Once you have decided on the best option for you, you can use our CarePlace directory to search for care providers who can help you at home or care homes. Care providers have to be registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC). CQC monitors, inspects and regulates these services to make sure they meet fundamental standards of quality and safety. You will be able to see whether a particular provider is meeting these standards on the individual listing on CarePlace.


The Council also monitors how local services are doing and will take action if there are particular concerns about the quality of a service or the safety of a person people cared for.



How much will it cost?

What you pay will depend on your individual circumstances and the kind of care and support you need, who provides it and how much help you need. If you are making your own arrangements, you should always ask the provider to tell you the costs upfront.

If you have an assessment from the Council, you will be given a financial assessment to complete. This will help the Council to consider whether you are eligible for financial support towards your care and support.


Useful contacts:

Richmond Council Adult Access Team
Address: Adult Social Services, Civic Centre, 44 York Street, Twickenham, TW1 3BZ
Phone: 020 8891 7971
Minicom: 18001 020 8891 7971

GoLocal for Sheen, Mortlake, Barnes, Twickenham or Whitton
Phone: 020 8973 1877

Community Partnership for Richmond, Kew, Ham, Petersham,Teddington or The Hamptons
Phone: 020 8831 6464