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Social Care

What is social care?

Social care can be emotional, physical and/or social support to help people live their lives independently.  It is a huge area that can be important for people of all ages. For example, social care workers can help protect children, support young people and families with extra needs, and provide social care services for the elderly.

Social care supports people to remain independent, retain their dignity and achieve a better quality of life.

Why is social care important?

The need for adult social care is growing as the population in the UK is getting older. Elderly people often require more help from family, paid-for or NHS carers to carry out day-to-day tasks, or to take medication. 

How is social care different to healthcare?

Social care supports people in their daily lives with a wide range of needs, including personal care and social support. By contrast, healthcare supports people with medical or clinical needs. But people working in social care have important links with medical professionals. These links are just as important for research in health and social care, which is why the NIHR funds and champions both. 

Why is research into social care important?

The research funded and supported by NIHR is helping find ways to improve people’s lives and help them live well. The NIHR supports social care research through funding people and projects.

You can learn more, below, about some of the findings from NIHR-funded research in social care.