Care and information local authorities must provide

Local authorities must provide certain types of care and support for free. Find out how these could help you if you're affected by dementia. 

Support that cannot be charged for

The local authority may charge people for care and support services, and for arranging them, but some types of care and support must be free of charge. 

These include:

  • intermediate care, including reablement (for up to six weeks)
  • aids and minor adaptations to the home costing less than £1,000
  • after-care/support provided under the Mental Health Act 1983 section 117
  • NHS services
  • any services that an authority has a duty to provide based on other legislation.

What information and advice must your local authority provide?

The Care Act says that people must have access to good quality information and advice from the first time they contact the local authority. This may help people with dementia, carers and families to take control and make informed choices about care and support needs now and in the future.

Local authorities do not have to provide all elements of this information and advice themselves but are expected to signpost (tell people about) or refer people to independent and impartial sources of information and advice.

The wide definition of information and advice includes care and support-related aspects of health, housing, benefits, and employment. 

Financial advice

Local authorities must identify people who might benefit from independent financial advice or information and help them to access it. This must include financial information and advice about understanding care charges and ways to pay so that people can make informed financial decisions.

Local authority staff should direct people to the financial information and advice they need. Before providing this advice directly to a person they should establish whether the person has decision-making capacity, or if a deputy of the Court of Protection or a person with Enduring Power of Attorney or Lasting Power of Attorney is acting on behalf of the individual. 

What is a Lasting Power of Attorney?

Find out what a Lasting power of attorney is and what steps you need to take in order to become a deputy for a person with dementia.

Lasting power of attorney Becoming a deputy

Independent advocates

Some people who have care and support needs now, or will do in the future, may have difficulty being involved in and making decisions about their care and support. They may not have anyone to support them – for example, a family member or friend. If a person has substantial difficulty and no one to help, a local authority must provide an independent advocate.

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