What We Mean By

What we mean when we use certain terms in Adult Social Care

Sometimes we use terms that you may not be familiar with you. Here is a useful guide to unusual words that are common in our service and what they mean.


Adult Placement

We recruit people who live locally to support adults with a learning disability. They share activities and experiences in their home and in the community, for example in a library or sports centre.

Adult Social Care

Adult Social Care is the department that provides 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
  • Carers. 

We help you live in your own home for as long as you are able. We're also known as community care or social services.


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


Adaptations are changes you make to your home to make things easier for you.

These include simple changes, like handrails and large jobs such as installing a shower with level access.

Assessment of Need

We talk to you about your difficulties and how help can be provided. We decide if your needs qualify for our services. You may include people who regularly provide unpaid care for you when we speak to you, if you choose.


An advocate can be a relative, friend or someone from an advocacy organisation who helps you tell us what you think and get the care and support you need. 


Care Homes

Care homes are homes that are registered with and inspected by the Care Quality Commission. 

People live in a care home if they're not able to live safely on their own. The care provided in the home may include help to get in and out of bed, wash, dress and go to the toilet. Meals will be provided and there may be social activities.

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

Care Package

A Care Package is how we refer to the services that are arranged after your needs are assessed. 

Care Plan

We write a care plan after we do an assessment for people who qualify for services. It includes details of the services that will support you.


A carer is the 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

This is any money you may need to pay towards the cost of social care services you receive.


Commissioning identifies what are the most common needs locally, and plans services to meet them.

Community Care

See Adult Social Care.

Continuing health care

Continuing health care is care that has been arranged and funded by the NHS outside of hospital and for someone who is ill or disabled.


Day Services  

This means the care and support provided at a centre or in the community. Care may include:

  • Social activities
  • Learning or re-learning skills
  • Personal care

Direct Payments

We give you Direct Payments if you are eligible for services instead of providing or arranging services for you. You can use Direct Payments to employ your own staff, use an agency or buy short-term breaks or agreed equipment.

Disabled Facilities Grant

The Disabled Facilities Grant is a means-tested grant that we manage. It helps with some or all of the cost of adapting your home if you are disabled or have a long term illness.

Dual registered homes

Dual registered homes are care homes that offer care and care with nursing. If you move to this type of home it means that you won't have to move again if your needs increase.

Couples with different levels of need can live together in dual registered homes.


Eligibility Criteria

These are the guidelines we use to decide if your needs qualify for our services. There are four bands of need: critical, substantial, moderate or low.

Extra Care

Extra care is self-contained accommodation for older or disabled people. These include communal facilities and on-site Home Care support for people who need social care.


Fair Access to Care

This is 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

Home Care is a service for people who can't manage essential tasks at home. It can be provided by Community Care Services or an independent organisation.



A ‘multi-disciplinary’ team is made up of people from different organisations who work together to provide services.


Occupational Therapy

Occupational Therapy helps people to stay at home safely and live independently. It includes advice on managing day-to-day activities, moving and handling techniques for carers, equipment to help, and advice about adapting your home.

Older people 

This means people over 65. 


A goal you would like to achieve as a result of social care. This includes living in your own home or being able to go out and about.  


Personal Assistant

This is someone you choose and employ to help you.  Their tasks could include cooking, cleaning, help with washing and dressing, and getting out and about.

Your personal assistant may be paid for using a direct payment or personal budget.

Personal Budget

A Personal Budget is a set amount of money we give to you to spend on your own care. You can use the budget to pay for services to help you stay independent.

Person Centred Planning

This is a way of using information from someone about what they feel they need to help them live on their own. We then use these details to form a plan to make this happen. 

Personal Care

Personal Care means help with something that might be embarrassing or awkward. Things like getting in and out of bed, going to the toilet, washing and dressing.


This means taking a persons individual choices and circumstances into account when we respond to people who need social care. It means we don't provide one options for everyone.


This is when we first speak to you, or someone calling for you and decide whether to make a full assessment. It is based on information given by you or the person who refers you to adult social care. It often takes place over the phone.

Preventive services

Preventative Services is a service that we use to stop things from getting worse. It includes reablement, telecare and preventing falls.

Primary care

Primary care is the NHS's first point of contact for patients, it includes GPs, community nurses, pharmacists and dentists.


Reablement is short-term and intensive rehabilitation that helps you build up your strength and re-learn skills after an illness, accident or disability. The service usually lasts for up to six to eight weeks.


This is the first contact we get that is asking us for help for someone. It can come from the person that needs the help or a relative, friend or GP.


Rehabilitation can be over a long period of time and helps you learn or regain skills after an illness, injury or hospital stay.

Residential care

This means you live in a care home and is for people who need 24-hour care from trained staff.

Respite Care

Respite care is given to a person to give the people who provide unpaid care a short break. Respite care can be for a few hours, a few nights, or even longer.


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

Risk assessment

A risk assessment checks if your health, safety, wellbeing and ability allow you to manage your essential daily routines. 



Safeguarding makes sure vulnerable adults are not abused, neglected or exploited.

Self funding

Self funding is where you arrange to pay for your own care services and do not receive financial help from the council.


Signposting means we tell people where they can find advice, information and services about adult social care so they can 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. It includes the care and support services you need for the kind of life you want for yourself.

Support Planning

Support Planning helps you decide on how to use an individual budget to meet your social care needs. 

Supported accommodation

Supported accommodation is 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 or using local facilities.



Telecare is phone based technology that keeps you safe and independent in your own home. Examples include, alarms that you wear round your neck, sensors in your home to detect if you have fallen or recognise risks such as smoke, floods or gas leaks.


This is a Department of Health programme that will change the way adult social care services are delivered. It is also known as Putting People First.


Universal services

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


Voluntary organisations

Voluntary Organisations are independent of the Government and local councils. They aim to benefit the people they help, not make a profit.

A volunteer is someone who works for free but someone who is employed by a voluntary organisation might be paid.



A good wellbeing means that 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.