As we grow older, it can become increasingly difficult to leave the home or take care of ourselves in the way that we used to. Domiciliary services allow people to receive medical care and support at home or within care homes, in the place where they feel most comfortable.
There are a number of different types of domiciliary care available should you or your loved one need extra assistance or support at home. Below, we’ll outline some of the most common types, and explain how Specsavers home visits can support your eye care needs.

What is domiciliary care?

Domiciliary care describes a range of care services that help support people within their homes. An experienced domiciliary care provider visits the home in order to provide additional support, from household tasks and healthcare, which allows many people to continue to live independently and maintain their quality of life.

There are many different domiciliary care services available to people in the UK, which can be tailored to the specific needs of the person receiving them. The most common include:

  • Household tasks (like cleaning, laundry or gardening)
  • Meal assistance
  • Mobilising in and around the home
  • Errands (like collecting prescriptions or pension)
  • Personal care (including continence care)
  • Healthcare (including home nursing or domiciliary eyecare)
  • Medication management

Who might need domiciliary care?

Domiciliary care services are for anyone who needs extra support while living at home. While this usually benefits older people, home care can help anybody of any age, including:

  • Elderly and vulnerable people
  • Those who experience physical or mental disabilities
  • People with mobility problems
  • Those recovering from injury, illness, or surgery

What is the difference between domiciliary care and residential care?

One of the biggest advantages of domiciliary care is that it allows vulnerable people to continue living in their own home, as opposed to living in a residential care facility such as a care home. As you may only require a few hours of care every week, domiciliary services allow you to maintain a certain degree of independence, while receiving help with daily tasks and professional healthcare. Whereas others may benefit from round-the-clock care that care homes provide.

Domiciliary care is also different to having a live-in carer. Domiciliary services are usually quite flexible, having carers come and go when their specific services are required, whereas with live-in-care, providers live within the home and are usually available for on-call assistance.

How can I arrange domiciliary care?

Many home care services, including domiciliary care, are available through the NHS and local councils. For instance, it is possible to receive a free NHS-funded home eye test, depending on your eligibility. Services that are not covered by the NHS might need to be sought-out privately.

Here are some of the ways to find out about the local domiciliary care services available to you:

  • Search the NHS website for local home care agencies 1
  • Get in touch with the Care Quality Commission (all home care agencies in the UK — not including eye care — must be registered with the CQC)
  • For home eye care services, visit our home visits page for more information.

What are the benefits of domiciliary care?

Domiciliary care and support can have an immeasurable impact on someone’s physical and emotional wellbeing. Friends and family members can have peace of mind knowing that a professional caregiver is looking after a loved one, particularly if it means they can continue to live independently in their own home. Studies have even shown that home visits for older people by healthcare professionals can decrease hospital admissions, proving to offer an overall better quality of life.2

How can Specsavers support your domiciliary care?

Specsavers home visits offer free NHS-funded eye tests for those who are unable to visit their opticians store unaccompanied. Our visiting opticians can perform a full and thorough eye test within the comfort of your own home, using specialist equipment adapted for home-use. 

We’ll carry out a full and thorough eye examination to assess your vision and check the overall health of your eyes. Through domiciliary care we can also offer guidance, support and monitoring for diagnosed eye conditions such as glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy. If you or someone you care for is in need of a home eye test, visit our eligibility page to see whether you might qualify for an NHS-funded visit.

For more information about Specsavers Home Visits, simply visit our home eye tests page.


1. National Health Service. (no date). Help at home from a carer. [Online]. Available at: equipment-and-care-homes/homecare/ [Accessed 21 July 2020].

2. Elkan R, Kendrick D, Hewitt M, et al. The effectiveness of domiciliary health visiting: a systematic review of international studies and a selective review of the British literature. Health Technol Assess. 2000;4(13):i-339. [Online]. Available at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.go... [Accessed 21 July 2020].