An 'adult at risk' is any person who is aged 18 years or over who may be in need of help because they have care and support needs and as a result of those care and support needs is unable to protect themselves from either the risk of, or the experience of abuse or neglect.
Care and support is the mixture of practical, financial and emotional support for adults who need extra help to manage their lives and be independent including older people, people with a disability or long-term illness, people with mental health problems, and carers. Care and support includes assessment of people's needs, provision of services and the allocation of funds to enable a person to purchase their own care and support. It could include care home, home care, personal assistants, day services, or the provision of aids and adaptations.
The Care Act 2014 sets out eligibility criteria which define whether an adult has care and support needs. If they do, then these needs must be met fully or in part by the Local Authority. The national eligibility criteria set a minimum threshold for adult care and support and carer support; all local authorities must at a minimum meet needs at this level.
The threshold is based on identifying how an individual’s needs affect their ability to achieve relevant desired outcomes, and whether as a consequence this has a significant impact on their wellbeing. The overall aim of adult care and support is to help people meet their needs to achieve the outcomes that matter to them in their lives and which in turn promote their wellbeing.