Major changes to the care system in England are being introduced and will come into force on Wednesday, affecting older people as well as younger adults with disabilities.

Four major changes are set to be introduced: 

  • The creation of national eligibility criteria. To date it has been up to councils to set their own criteria. There will now be established rules on when someone should be entitled to help.

-A duty on councils to now offer schemes by which those who need to pay for residential care can get a loan from their local council, which is then paid back, after death, from their estate.

-For the first time, carers will be given the same night to assessment and support as the people they care for. Previously, to get an assessment they had to provide ‘substantial care on a regular basis’.

-Those who pay for care themselves will be entitled to seek advice and information about the care system from councils.

Today’s changes mark a major milestone in care services, which experts say have barely changed since the current system was created along with the NHS after the Second World War.

To help protect assets, a cap on care costs will kick in from April next year. This is £72,000 for the over-65’s with young people’s cap still to be finalised.

To find out what care you or someone you care for are entitled to, the BBC have created a handy ‘care calculator’ which you can view here