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Social care

What is social care?

Many people living with ME or fibromyalgia have difficulty managing day-to-day, and may be eligible for social care. Your local authority is responsible for social care.

Care and support needs can include the following:

  • Help at home with tasks such as personal care, shopping, cleaning and meal preparation

  • Adaptations to your home, such as grab rails, walk in shower or stairlift

  • Day centres to reduce isolation

  • Medication management

  • Equipment such as walking frames or a personal alarm in case you have to call for help in an emergency

  • Support to find accommodation/rehousing 

Social care is means tested. This means that once your local authority has assessed what social care you need, they will look at your income to see how much of it you need to pay for yourself.

How can we support you?

If you are having difficulty navigating the social care system, we can act as your advocate. Having an independent advocate may help to make the process less overwhelming. The role of an advocate is to support you to:

  • Access appropriate services;

  • Understand your rights;

  • Express your views and wishes – helping to ensure your voice is heard;

  • Understand relevant information and to use this information to explore and identify your options and make informed decisions;

  • Ensure that your rights are being upheld.

You have to give your consent for someone to act as your advocate. There are certain situations where a person cannot act as your advocate. These are:

  • If the person is your paid carer;

  • If the local authority doesn’t deem their advocacy to be in your best interests;

  • If you do not have the mental capacity to make decisions – in these situations a professionally appointed advocate will be provided.

Statutory advocates

Depending on what you need help with, you may have the legal right to an advocate. This is called statutory advocacy, and may apply to you if:

  • You have been detained, or are liable to be detained, under the Mental Health Act 1983. In these cases you are entitled to an Independent Mental Health Advocate.

  • You lack capacity to make certain decisions, for example where you live or about serious medical treatment. In these cases you might be entitled to an Independent Mental Capacity Advocate.

  • You have difficulty making decisions about your social care. In these cases you might be entitled to a Social Care Advocate.

The Sheffield Advocacy Hub can provide you with a statutory advocate. For help working out if you are entitled to a statutory advocate, get in touch via the details below. 

To get in touch about accessing social care, or an existing issue about social care, email us at or give us a call on 0114 2536700.

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