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Get help at home

Find out what support is available if you need a little extra help, but don’t wish to move from your home.

1. Home care

Home care services provide trained carers who can come to your home to help you with daily tasks such as:

  • laundry
  • shopping
  • preparing a meal
  • bathing
  • helping you to dress 
  • help to get in and out of bed
  • home meals

Home care is mainly offered to residents who have undergone a short-term intensive period of support first, known as reablement. For information on reablement visit our help after an illness page.

Home care services are usually provided by our contracted providers in the four areas in the borough. Alternatively you can have a direct payment to purchase care from the agency of your choice.

2. How to get home care

You will need to have an assessment of your needs before you can receive home care.

You will be assessed to pay for the home care service, and the amount you pay will be based on your income and savings.

If you are entitled to receive care, you may prefer to receive direct payments to pay for your own care rather than use the care provided by social services.

Alternatively, you can contact care agencies directly.

For more information see our assessments and paying for care visit People First.

3. Equipment to help at home

We can provide information to help you to choose equipment that will support you with everyday tasks around the house.

Types of equipment available include things like bath boards and seats, walking frames, grab rails, special lighting and adapted cutlery.

To find out what specialist equipment is available and how to get it, view our simple aids and equipment booklet.

For more information on choosing and getting the right equipment for you, visit People First.

4. Home adaptations

If you have problems moving around your  home, adaptations can help to give you more freedom in and around your home.

Having your home adapted to your needs can mean that you can stay in your home rather than move. Adaptations are usually the type of works where structural changes are needed to your home, such as:

  • fitting a stair lift
  • replacing a bath with a walk in shower or fitting an over-bath shower
  • adapting your home for wheelchair use (e.g. widening doors or installing ramps)

To get help with home adaptations you will need to have an assessment of your needs.

5. Gadgets to help you stay safe

If you are an older person, less mobile, or have a disability, some technology based equipment may be able to help you remain independent at home or will enable you to quickly call for help in an emergency.

6. Community alarm and telecare

A community alarm allows you to call for help in an emergency at any time, day or night.

It works by having a pendant alarm that is worn around your neck, or alternatively worn like a watch on your wrist.

If you become unwell, or have a fall and cannot get up, you can activate an alarm by pressing the pendant. This goes through to a central office where someone can talk to you and find out what the problem is.

The office is open 24 hours a day. Your alarm call to the central office will be answered within 30 seconds.

You must preferably have a landline telephone and an electric socket nearby. There are sim based options available.  You can choose two people who are willing to hold your door keys, who should live locally or within a reasonable distance (15 minutes of your property), or if you don't have anyone who can be a keyholder for you, this can be arranged for you by the Emergency Response Office, at Westminster City Council.

7. How to apply

Call us at Adult Social Care on 020 7641 2500 and ask to speak to the care management team about community alarms and pendants.

There may be circumstances when you want to purchase your own community alarm and keyholding service without an assessment, or have been assessed as not eligible for services and would still like an alarm. You can organise this through the emergency response team on 020 7641 4065. There will be a charge for this service provision.


If you are assessed as eligible for services you will not pay extra for the community alarm. If you choose to have an alarm installed yourself without an assessment you will pay a charge. The cost is currently £39.00 for a 3 month period. If you purchase your own alarm and keyholding service, there is currently an additional charge of £30.00 per quarter for this service. There are different prices if you're registered as disabled.

8. Telecare

Telecare provides a range of additional alarm systems that are designed to assist you, or the person you care for, to live more independently and safely.

It can help you manage risks such as falls, fire or smoke, and it can help you with memory prompting, remembering your medicine, or concerns about getting lost, and provide you and your family reassurance that help is available in an emergency.

For more information on telecare and other gadgets and equipment that can help you stay safe, visit People First.

9. Decorating, repairs and DIY

There are many handiwork services available to older people in Westminster including maintenance help and repairs.

If you are not able to do DIY work around the house yourself, these services can help you with small practical jobs, such as household repairs, fitting locks, putting up shelves and other general repairs.

For more information on who can help you with repairs and DIY, please visit People First.


10. Help with shopping

Use the Westminster Shopper Service to get help with your shopping including transport to and from the shops and help with carrying your bags.

Last updated: 15 January 2020