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Older People Care Needs

Care in your own home is provided to people who need support with daily living tasks such as washing or dressing, or tasks such as support with medication or finances.

You may need this support if you are frail, have mental health needs, or if you have a physical or learning disability.

Personal Care or Domiciliary Care is the term used to refer to help with everyday tasks such as bathing, shaving, dressing and using the toilet.  It can also include other social and health care support such as assistance with medication and meals. 

 If you need help as a carer, the carers centre might be able to help: Carers Leaflet

If you or a family member appears to need residential services their initial Care Assessment will identify whether personal or nursing care is most appropriate for their needs. Here are the differences between them;

A Care Home registered to provide personal care will offer support, ensuring basic personal needs are taken care of like assisting with meals, bathing, going to the toilet and taking medication, if this sort of help is needed.  Residential Homes call in medical support from other agencies such as local GPs, district nurses to conduct routine appointments at the care home as well as being on stand-by for emergencies.

A Nursing Care Home is registered to meet personal care plus more medical needs on site.  For example, a Nursing Care Home might specialise in certain types of disability or conditions such as dementia or a significant physical disability.  In a Nursing Home the care team on duty will always include at least one qualified nurse (the number will depend on the number of residents in the home) and can therefore cater for people with a medical condition that requires nursing attention.

Both types of homes are subject to rigorous inspection by the Care Quality Commission and must adhere to strict codes of practice.  Your Local Authority will help you to plan for the costs of care in either settings.

A Care Home provides accommodation, meals and personal care for older people, people with disabilities, or people who are unable to manage at home, for whatever reason.

The level of care varies from home to home, but the Government defines it as "the kind of care you would receive from a competent and caring relative".  This includes:

  • Help with eating
  • Help with washing and bathing
  • Help with dressing and toilet needs
  • Caring for you if you become ill

The purpose of each home is to provide a pleasant, safe and homely environment in which to enhance the quality of life of all who may need to live there.  Residents will be encouraged to make choices and exercise control over how they choose to live.  This will be respected regardless of age, culture, disability, gender or beliefs.  Your right to privacy, dignity and to exercise your human and legal rights will be respected at all times.

You may need residential, nursing or specialist dementia care depending on your needs.  You can consider homes outside St Helens if your needs will be better met there.  

When choosing a home, it is important to make sure you choose one that will be right for you both now, and in the future.  Details of care homes in St Helens are provided on the document links below  You can get advice and information to help make this important decision from:

  • Your Social Worker or Care Manager
  • A District Nurse
  • A Health Visitor
  • Your Family Doctor

Everybody moving into a Care Home is subject to a financial assessment to see if the Council can assist with the charges.

For further information please read the documents below:

You can arrange your own residential care without involving the Council, in which case you will pay the full cost.


The council has contracted a number of domiciliary care agencies - these agencies are sometimes referred to as independent or private agencies. Please see the current list of agencies in 'Related Documents' below.

If you ask your care manager to arrange your personal care, they will identify a service provider from the agencies who have contracts with the Council.  Where you live will influence which service provider is available but don't worry, all personal care is delivered to the same standards of quality and safety.

If you wish to choose your own agency to provide your personal care or employ a personal assistant, you will need a Direct Payment. Please speak to your care manager who can discuss this further with you. 

If you think you or a family member need help with personal care, please speak to one of our Contact Centre Advisors

Contact Details
Telephone:  01744 676789 (Monday to Friday 8:00am to 6:00pm, Saturday 10:00am to 2:00pm)
Call in person:           Contact Centre, Wesley House, Corporation Street, St Helens, WA10 1HP
Email: contactcentre@sthelens.gov.uk

Assessment & Eligibility Leaflet

Assistive technology is a term used to describe devices and sensors that are installed into someone's home to enable them to remain living there for as long as possible.  It can also offer loved ones peace of mind knowing that help is often just the push of a button away.

Alarms and sensors can detect when you are at risk and may need assistance.  Depending on the type of device, you can press a button, or the device will automatically alert your carer's pager or   St Helens Council's monitoring centre, Careline, which operates 24 hours a day.  Find out more about the Careline service.

If you have vision problems you can access equipment from the Visual Impairment Team.  The equipment does not have to be electronic and it is often simple in design. The equipment is designed to provide practical support to someone with a visual impairment when they are undertaking day-to-day tasks, i.e. making a cup of tea or writing a letter, or to assist with meal preparation.  This equipment is free of charge but is based on need.

If you have a visual impairment and would like to know more about this type of equipment then please call 01744 675129.

Aids for people with visual impairment can be purchased from the RNIB, disability websites and shops.

Visual Impairment Leaflet

The Deafness Resource Centre can supply aids for people with a hearing impairment, based on an assessment, that can take place at your home, or at the Deafness Resource Centre.  The equipment is loaned free of charge, but there is a one-off assessment of £20.

If you, or someone you know, has a hearing impairment and would like some further information about the aids that are available, please visit the Deafness Resource Centre website or contact them at: 

The Deafness Resource Centre
32 - 40 Dentons Green Lane
St Helens
WA10 2QA

Telephone: 01744 23887

You should receive the kind of care, in any setting, which supports and promotes, and does not undermine, your self-respect regardless of any difference.

We believe there are 8 main factors that promote dignity in care.

These add to your sense of self-respect, and they should be present in any care you receive.

  1. Choice and control - enabling you to make your own choices about the way you live and the care you receive.
  2. Communication - people should speak to you with respect and listen to what you have to say.
  3. Eating and nutritional care - you should be provided with a choice of nutritious and appetising meals, that meet your needs and choices, and you should have support with eating if needed.
  4. Pain management - if you are in pain you should have the right help and medications to reduce suffering and improve your quality of life.
  5. Personal hygiene - you should be enabled to maintain your usual standard of personal hygiene.
  6. Practical assistance - you should be enabled to maintain your independence by receiving that 'little bit of help'.
  7. Privacy - your personal space, privacy in personal care and the confidentiality of your personal information should be respected.
  8. Social inclusion - you should be supported to keep in contact with your family and friends, and to take part in social activities.

Every service provider should have a person who is their 'dignity champion'.  If you feel you are not being treated with dignity and respect by your service provider, please speak with your care manager, your service provider's dignity champion or you can contact us.

The Department of Health produced a national strategy in relation to End of Life (EOL) in 2008. The overall aim of the strategy is to raise the profile of End of Life and bring about a change in access to high quality care for all people approaching the end of their life, wherever the person may be.

The 10 objectives of the strategy are:

  1. Increase public awareness and discussion of death and dying
  2. To ensure all people are treated with dignity and respect at End Of Life
  3. Pain and suffering at EOL is kept to a minimum, with access to symptom management
  4. To ensure those accessing EOL have access to physical, psychological, social and spiritual care
  5. To ensure that individuals' needs, priorities and preferences for EOL care are identified, documented, reviewed, respected and acted upon
  6. To ensure services are co-ordinated
  7. To ensure high quality EOL care is provided in all care settings and within all services (including prisons, hospices, care homes, ambulance services, equipment services)
  8. To ensure that carers are appropriately supported
  9. To ensure that health and social care professionals at all levels are provided with the necessary education and training to enable them to provide quality care
  10. To ensure that services provide good value for money for the taxpayer

Following publication of the Strategy in 2009, the National Council for Palliative Care (NCPC) set up the Dying Matters Coalition to promote public awareness of dying, death and bereavement. The following needs to be taken into consideration.

  1. Make a Will
    Writing a Will allows you to plan what happens to your money and possessions after you die, as well as who cares for any children you have. It’s the only way you can be sure that your wishes are carried out and avoids leaving difficult legal problems behind for your family.

  2. Record your funeral wishes
    Have you ever thought about what you want for your funeral? Would you want to be buried or cremated? Where do you want your funeral to be held? Do you want readings and, if so, which ones and read by whom? Perhaps there’s even a particular route you would like your hearse to take. There’s plenty of scope to make a final statement – if you share your funeral wishes.

  3. Plan your future care and support
    As we go through life, many of us will eventually need caring for. Some of us might also lose capacity to make decisions ourselves. You can talk to your family and healthcare professionals (for example, your GP) about the sort of care you would like.

  4. Register as an organ donor
    Other people can benefit from your organs after your death if you register as an organ donor.

  5. Tell your loved ones your wishes
    Before you finalise any of these things, consider talking them through with those close to you. This gives them the opportunity for input, and means you can begin sharing your thoughts and feelings about the future. If you have important documents about your wishes, keep them in a safe place and let loved ones know where they are.

For more information, please go to Dying Matters or contact St Helens Council's People's Services Department on 01744 676600.