Living independently means having choice and control over all aspects of your life. This might involve:
  • choosing where you live
  • enjoying time with family and friends
  • taking part in leisure activities
  • studying, training and working. 
Living independently does not mean living alone without support. It means having the support which enables you to do these sorts of things – when and how you want to. 

Social care

Social care should enable disabled people to live independently and support individual wellbeing. This might be: 
  • Support with washing, bathing and getting dressed or undressed
  • Help with eating or cooking meals
  • Support to move around your home safely
  • Daily living aids, such as equipment or assistive technology
  • Support to keep in touch with family and friends
  • Support to do the things that interest you, sport or social activities, to get out and about.
  • Support to enable you to work, study, volunteer. This is different from support such as Access to Work.
  • Support to enable you to use local facilities and be a part of your community
  • Communication support (for example, a sign language interpreter)
  • Support in the wider world (for example, someone with a learning difficulty might need a support worker to enable them to navigate a new area or a new routine).
  • Support to care for someone else
  • Support to enable you to care for a child 

Social care is not health care. It does not treat or cure people, but supports people with conditions and impairments in their daily lives. You access social care through your local authority, who will:

You will also have a financial assessment to decide how much, if any, you may have to contribute towards the cost of your care and support.

If you have had your care package cut, read our cuts or changes to social care guide.

Independent living - further resources

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