One of the first things to consider when you begin to look after someone, or you are beginning to struggle after taking care of someone for a while, is a care assessment. This may allow you or the person you care for to receive support and help from your local authority, providing you with a helping hand if you are finding it difficult to care for someone.
What is a carer’s assessment?
A carer’s assessment is available for any carer in the UK who feels they need some support. A member of your local authority will visit you and assess a number of things including:
- Your role as a carer and how it is affecting your life, health and mental wellbeing.
- Take into consideration your personal feelings and choices when it comes to care.
- Housing arrangements.
- Plan for any emergencies.
How do I get one?
If you are not offered one by your local authority, you are able to approach them and ask for one. If you're not sure how to contact them, follow this link and enter your postcode: www.gov.uk
From there, you will be able to go to your local councils website where you should be able to to find information on care. If you are having trouble, there will be a contact section where you should be able to find a telephone number to call and speak to someone.
Why should I have one?
Following an assessment, your local authority will decide if you are eligible for support. This support can be provided to either you or the person you are caring for, depending on the situation.
Help could be in the form of payment or various other things to make your life easier such as driving lessons or taxi fares to allow you to travel easier and even help around the house or garden.
Read more: Carer's allowance
How should I prepare for the assessment?
Before the assessment, take some time to think about how caring affects you. You must also be prepared for the different types of questions the assessor will ask you.
In order to prepare, take a look at this helpful guide from carersuk.org which includes a list of possible questions to consider. www.carersuk.org
What if I’m not eligible?
If the assessment finds you do not need any of this extra support, the local authority must still provide you with information and advice on local services that could help you. It is also worth keeping in mind that the carer’s assessment is only available for carers over 18 caring for someone over 18, not children.
Can the person I am caring for be assessed?
Yes, this is a different kind of assessment called the care needs assessment and is carried out by their local authority.