Social care and coronavirus: Getting the care you need at home

During the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, social care at home may be different. Here's some information to help you get the support you need.

I need support with my care needs (or, I need support with caring for someone). What should I do?

If you need external support, you should contact your local authority (health and social care trust in Northern Ireland) to arrange a needs assessment and a carer’s assessment (carer support plan in Scotland).

The assessments will look at what care support you need and what help may be available. Just a single piece of equipment in the home or information about local practical and emotional support can be invaluable.

After the needs assessment, you may be asked about your financial resources to work out what financial contribution you may need to make. There is free personal care in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Your local authority (health and social care trust in Northern Ireland) has a statutory responsibility to carry out these assessments and to do them within a reasonable time and for free. As a result of the coronavirus crisis, there may be delays in arranging assessments and some authorities may have applied for a temporary suspension of assessments under emergency coronavirus legislation.

Find out more:


I’m worried that it isn’t safe for a care worker to come to my home. What should I do?

Contact your care agency/provider to discuss your concerns and agree what safety measures should be taken.

Your agency should tell you what safety measures they’re taking to reduce the risk of home care workers getting and spreading coronavirus, including the personal protective equipment (PPE) they are providing.

Home care workers are likely to be happy to discuss your concerns and take steps to make sure you feel safe when they visit. If your care worker refuses or is unable to follow safety procedures, you should contact your agency.

We would encourage you not to simply cancel any care visits - it can be very difficult to reinstate care.


What if my care worker gets ill or has to self-isolate and can’t come to my home? What should I do?

Contact your care agency/provider.

If your care worker can’t come to your home, your agency should let you know what’s happening and whether they can arrange a replacement care worker.

If your agency can’t provide a care worker, you should contact your local authority (health and social care trust in Northern Ireland) to arrange replacement care.

Find out more:


I receive Direct Payments which I use to employ personal assistants. What should I do about getting personal protective equipment (PPE) for them?

Contact your local authority (health and social care trust in Northern Ireland). In Scotland, you should contact your local carers centre.

The guidance around PPE can be complex, but you can get support and advice on getting the right PPE for your personal assistants from your local authority, health and social trust, or carers centre.

If you need further advice on Direct Payments and personal assistants you can call our helpline.


I’m worried about someone being discharged from hospital. What should I do?

Contact the hospital as soon as possible.

You should speak to the hospital ward staff or discharge team who have a duty to arrange any care needed. As the coronavirus crisis is causing pressure on hospital beds in some areas, people may be discharged from hospital more quickly than usual. In some parts of the UK, discharges may happen without care assessments being done. The sooner you speak to the hospital about getting the right care, the better.

It may be that it is too risky for someone to be back at home after hospital - for example, if there is a risk of falls at night. A care home may be a safer option, possibly for a short time. You can search to find out what care homes are available and contact the homes directly to find out more about them. You can also look at your care regulator’s inspection reviews. In England this is the Care Quality Commission, in Northern Ireland this is the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority, in Scotland this is the Care Inspectorate, and in Wales this is the Care and Social Services Inspectorate.

Helpline and local advisers

Our helpline and local advisers are here to answer any questions you have about Parkinson's.

Call us on 0808 800 0303.