Accept Cookies on this site

Bournemouth Borough Council would like to place cookies on your computer to help us make this website better. To find out more about the cookies, see our privacy notice.


What We Mean By


What We Mean By…Explaining Adult Social Care Terms

We try to communicate with you in every day language. Sometimes we use terms that you may not be familiar with.

Here are some explanations to help


Adult Placement - We recruit people living locally who can support adults with a learning disability by sharing activities and experiences in their home and in the community. 

Adult Social Care - Support and services for adults who need extra help to live safely and independently.This includes older people, people with a physical disability, learning disability or long-term illness, people with mental health problems, and carers. The aim is to enable you to live in your own home and community for as long as you are able. Also known as community care or social services.

Abuse - This covers all kinds of harassment, bullying and mistreatment. It includes physical, emotional, sexual, neglect, financial, institutional or verbal abuse.

Adaptations - Changes to your home to make things easier for you. These include simple changes, such as handrails, as well as complex work such as installing a shower with level access.

Assessment of Need - We discuss your difficulties with you and talk about how help can be provided. We use the information to decide if your needs qualify for services. You may involve the people who regularly provide unpaid care for you in the discussion, if you choose.

Advocacy - Help to you say what you think and get the care and support you need. An advocate can be a relative, friend or someone from an advocacy organisation.


Care Homes - Homes that are registered with and inspected by the Care Quality Commission. The homes provide care if you are not able to live safely in your own home. Care provided may include help to get in and out of bed, wash, dress and go to the toilet. Meals will be provided. There may be social activities.

Care Homes with nursing - Care homes which also offer care from a qualified nurse.

Care Package - Service/s that may be organised for you after the assessment of need. 

Care Plan - Written details of the service/s to support you. We discuss and agree this with you and, if you choose, your carer. A care plan is prepared after an assessment, if your needs qualify for services.

Carer - A person who provides unpaid care and support for someone who is frail, ill or disabled. This will usually be a relative, partner, friend or neighbour.

Client contribution - The money you may need to pay towards the cost of the social care services you receive.

Commissioning - Identifying local needs and planning services to meet them.

Community Care - Support and services for adults who need extra help to live safely and independently.This includes older people, people with a physical disability, learning disability or long-term illness, people with mental health problems, and carers. The aim is to enable you to live in your own home and community for as long as you are able. Also known as adult social care or social services.

Continuing health care - Care arranged and funded by the NHS, outside of hospital, for someone who is ill or disabled


Day Services - Care and support provided at a centre or in the community. Care may include social activities, learning or re-learning skills, or personal care. Activities, outings and training can also take place using facilities in the community.

Direct Payments - Money we give you to meet needs that are eligible for services. You can use Direct Payments to employ your own staff, use an agency or buy short term breaks or agreed equipment. This is instead of providing or arranging services for you.

Disabled Facilities Grant - A means-tested grant managed by the Council to help with some or all of the cost of adapting your home if you are disabled or have a long term illness.

Dual registered homes - Care homes which offer care and care with nursing. If you move to this type of home you may not have to move again if your needs increase. Couples with different levels of need can also live together in dual registered homes.


Eligibility Criteria - Guidelines we use to decide if your needs qualify for services. There are four bands of need: critical, substantial, moderate or low.

Extra Care - Self-contained accommodation for older or disabled people. There are communal facilities and on-site Home Care support for people who have been assessed as in need of social care.


Fair Access to Care - How we decide who is eligible for our services. When we assess your needs we place them into one of four categories: critical, substantial, moderate or low.


Home Care - A personal and practical care service for people finding it difficult to manage essential tasks at home. It can be provided by Community Care Services or an independent organisation.




Multi-disciplinary - A team of workers from different organisations who each have their own area of expertise and work together to provide services.


Occupational Therapy - Help with safe and independent living in your home. It includes advice on different ways of managing day-to-day activities, moving and handling techniques for carers, equipment to help, and advice about adapting your home.

Older people  - Adult social care for older people is usually for people over 65, unless they have particular needs before this age. Older people are the largest group of people who use adult social care services. 

Outcome - An aim or objective you would like to achieve as a result of social care, such as living in your own home or being able to go out and about.  




Personal Assistant - Someone you choose and employ to provide the support you need, in the way that suits you best. This may cover cooking, cleaning, help with personal care such as washing and dressing, and getting out and about in the community. Your personal assistant may be paid for using a direct payment or personal budget.

Personal Budget - A set amount of money we give to you to spend on meeting your eligible care needs. You can use the budget to buy services and support to help you stay independent.

Person Centred Planning - Finding what is important to a person from their own point of view, which would contribute to their full inclusion in society, then planning to make this happen. 

Personal Care - Help with getting in and out of bed, washing, dressing and other daily living tasks.

Personalisation - Responding to people who need social care in a way that meets individual choices and circumstances.

Pre-assessment - When you make contact with us and we decide whether to make a full assessment. This is based on information given by you or the person who refers you to adult social care. This often takes place over the phone.

Preventive services -  Services to prevent more serious problems developing. Includes reablement, telecare and preventing falls.

Primary care - The NHS's first point of contact for patients. Includes GPs, community nurses, pharmacists and dentists.


Reablement - Short-term, intensive support to help you build up your strength and re-learn skills after an illness, accident or disability. The aim is to enable you to live independently at home for as long as possible. The service usually lasts for up to six-eight weeks.

Referral - This is the first contact with us for help. You can contact us yourself or ask a relative, friend or your GP to get in touch for you. The first contact will be through Care Direct. We ask for personal information and make brief notes to use when we assess your needs.

Rehabilitation - Support to learn or regain skills to help you stay living independently at home. This may be after an illness, injury or hospital stay.

Residential care - Care in a care home, with or without nursing, for older or disabled people who need 24-hour care. Care  homes provide trained staff and an environment adapted for the needs of ill, frail or disabled people.

Respite Care - Care provided for a person to give the friend/s or relative/s who provide unpaid care a short break from caring. The care varies from a few hours, a few nights, or even longer.

Review - If you are eligible for services, we get in touch regularly with you to check how things are going. We discuss whether any changes to your care plan are needed.

Risk assessment - An assessment of your health, safety, wellbeing and ability to manage your essential daily routines. 


Safeguarding - Ensuring vulnerable adults are not abused, neglected or exploited.

Self Directed Support - A flexible way of providing social care to people who need it. You choose and organise care to meet your needs in a way that suits you. You have money to buy your own services to meet your needs. This a change from the traditional way of providing social care and gives choice and control to you if you are eligible for our services.

Self funding - When  you arrange a pay for your own care services and do not receive financial help from the council.

Signposting - Telling people where they can find advice, information and services about adult social care to help them make arrangements for the services they need.

Support Plan - This sets out what you would like to achieve and how you would like to achieve it, within the agreed amount of money. It includes the care and support services you need for the kind of life you want for yourself.

Support Planning - Deciding how to use an Individual Budget to meet your social care needs. 

Supported accommodation - Accommodation for people who qualify for our services and need support to live independently. Support may include help to shop for and cook meals, assistance with budgeting and correspondence, or using local facilities.

Telecare - Technology that enables you to remain safe and independent in your own home. Examples include alarms that you wear round your neck, automatic pill dispensers and sensors in your home to detect if you have fallen or recognise risks such as smoke, floods or gas leaks.

Transformation - Department of Health programme to change the way adult social care services are delivered. Transformation is also known as Putting People First. The approach differs from the traditional way of directly providing care services such as personal care in the home or attending a day centre. It gives people choice and control over their care.


Universal services - Services such as transport, leisure, health and education that are available to everyone in the local area.


Voluntary organisations - Organisations that are independent of the Government and local councils. They aim to benefit the people they service, not make a profit. The people who work for voluntary organisations are not necessarily volunteers; many are paid for the work they do.


Wellbeing - When you have good physical and mental health, control over your day-to-day life, good relations, enough money, and the opportunity too take part in the activities that interest you.





Related Information


Postal Address Bournemouth Care Direct,
Customer Services Centre,
St Stephens Road, Bournemouth, Dorset
Telephone Number 01202 454979
Fax Number 01202 454975
Email address Care Direct
Out of Hours Telephone Number

Out of Hours:
01202 657279