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It is important to distinguish Social Care from Health Care where the primary focus is on your medical and nursing needs.

The reason for needing Social Care may be health related (an illness may have reduced your mobility and strength to wash, bath or dress yourself), but you do not need the regular intervention of health care professionals like district nurses to maintain your independence. This is important as it decides whether the funding for your care comes from Social Services or your Local Health Board.

Since the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014 there has been a much greater emphasis on preventative services (supporting people before their needs become critical) and promoting peoples’ independence. So, when a referral is made, the staff at the Independent Living Services will usually explore with you what can be provided to keep you more independent at home and what activities at home and in the community can enable you to have a greater quality of life and to feel more independent. After that they will focus on your care needs and refer you to the social work team.

So, the first step in a care needs assessment from your local authority is by telephone 02920 234234. If there is already Social Services involvement please telephone 02920 536422.  There will first be a screening by phone. If your needs mean you are eligible for care provision, an arrangement will then be made for a face-to-face assessment to take place in your home, usually by an occupational therapist or social worker. (Some nurses are also part of Social Services teams).There is no charge and you are entitled to an assessment and any further advice and information, regardless of your income and savings.

The financial assessment is when the council looks at your savings and any income you have. While it doesn’t take into account the value of your home, a second property does count as savings. There is certain income the council must not take into account.

This is so that you have enough to pay for essentials such as food and utilities without being affected by care costs. Rent and mortgage payments are also taken into account.

For more details on the method of calculation, contact your local council or for City Hospice patients and carers, please ask the City Hospice Welfare Rights Officer or Social Worker.