Help in your own home

There are multiple sources of assistance that may be available to you if you struggle with maintaining your home.

Daily domestic tasks such as cleaning, clothes washing and making up beds can become more difficult as we get older but there are a range of services that may be available to help you.

The guide aims to provide you with some information on the type of home help services that are available, how you can access them and what your other options may be if you are struggling with domestic tasks at home.

What help is available?

There are many tasks you may be beginning to struggle with or services that you would benefit from using. Support might include assistance with:

  • Domestic cleaning
  • Shopping
  • Meal preparation
  • Gardening
  • Form filling
  • Collecting prescriptions
  • Transport

Unlike personal care, such as dressing and bathing, help with domestic tasks is unlikely to be provided by your local authority, however their Adult Social Care team may be able to advise you of local home help services.

Local charities such as Age UK and the Royal Voluntary Service (RVS) often provide home help services that include help with domestic day to day tasks. You can use their websites to search for support in your area. Note that there may be a charge for their services.

Many home care agencies will also provide home help services, even if you do not require personal care from them.

If you are looking for home help from a home care agency then you may wish to use a service provided by Care Sourcer. They provide an entirely free care matching service, searching all 27,000 registered UK care providers. They will provide you with a tailored list of people who can help now, with their price, within 24 hours. You can view their website, here.

You can also use the HousingCare Home Services directory to search for services in your area that may provide help with the tasks you are beginning to struggle with.

How much will it cost?

This is likely to vary depending on the amount of support you require and where you live in the UK. Some charities and non-profit organisations may only charge a minimal fee to help cover their costs, whilst home care agencies will typically charge in the region of £15-£20 per hour.

If you are beginning to struggle with certain tasks around the home, you should consider applying for Attendance Allowance, a non means-tested benefit for people over the age of 65. It does not consider your financial situation and is intended for people who are beginning to need to assistance around the home. You do not need to be receiving support in order to be eligible for Attendance Allowance. Read more in our Benefits for people of retirement age factsheet.

Other options

If you have a spare bedroom then one option may be to have a younger person come and live with you, through a scheme known as Homesharing. In exchange for having access to a bedroom, the homesharer (the younger person) agrees to provide a certain number of hours of help around the home to the householder (you). You can read more about this in our Homesharing factsheet.

Certain tasks, such as opening jars or cans whilst making a meal, can become more difficult with age. Some companies have developed specialist equipment that can assist with everything from opening jars to buttoning up a shirt to getting around your home. Your may wish to start by using the Ask Sara tool, provided by the Disabled Living Foundation (DLF) charity.

Finally, you might wish to consider moving to a more suitable property that is fully accessible and possibly has good access to on-site or nearby services. Extra Care housing developments combine the independence of having your own front door and property with the convenience of having on-site care and home help services, as well as meals. You can read more about Housing and care options for older people in our guide.