If you support someone, be that a family member, a friend or neighbour then you are entitled to request a free carers assessment from your local authority to see what might help make your life easier.
Getting a carers assessment is often the most important step to take if you need support in your caring role as this looks at you, your needs and what can help you. It’s an opportunity to record the impact caring has on your life and what support or services you need.
The assessment will look at your physical, mental and emotional needs, and whether you are able or willing to carry on caring.
Take a look at this comprehensive guide to having a carers assessment from Carers UK.
Carers under 18s can have a Young Carer’s Assessment, and for parent carers of a child under 18 the situation is different too. Carers ages 16 and 17 are also entitled to a separate Transition Assessment, as their support needs change as they approach adulthood.
If you are a young carer in the Dudley borough, please contact our Dudley Young Carers team on 01384 886 429.
What support could I get?
There are lots of different types of support you could be entitled to, including:
- practical help with housework or gardening jobs
- training to help you with your caring role, for example in moving & handling the person you care for
- equipment or alterations to your home
- emotional support such as counselling
- breaks from caring, such as respite care for the person you care for
- advice about benefits
- support to improve your wellbeing, such as access to exercise classes, social activities or adult education.
Councils are advised not to charge carers for support provided to them, but some will give you a financial assessment to work out what you can afford to pay. They should never charge for care and support provided for the person you care for.
How do I get a Carer’s Assessment?
Your local authority will carry out a carer’s assessment for you, so the first step is to call them.
If you need support, a member of our team will be able to advise you on how to go about this.
Please visit our Carers Assistance Line page or call 0121 803 6830.
Find out more in the links below:
How can I prepare for a Carer’s Assessment?
The first thing to do is to collect all the relevant information you’ll need:
- your NHS number
- your GP’s name, address and phone number details
- your email address
- contact details of anyone coming to the assessment with you
- details of the person you care for including their name, address, date of birth and NHS number.
It’s also good to have a think about the below things beforehand –
- Make a list of the different ways you are providing support, such as offering emotional support, managing finances, helping someone with practical activities such as shopping, ensuring someone is safe from harm, or helping with personal needs such as using the bathroom.
- Consider how caring affects your life. Does it leave enough time for you? Does it affect your emotional wellbeing – for example, do you often feel drained or lonely? Does it affect you physically – for example, do you lose sleep or get back ache from lifting someone regularly? Has it affected your work, social life or education?
- If the person you care for will be present at the assessment, will you be able to speak freely about any difficulties you have?
What happens during and after the assessment?
The assessor will discuss how caring affects your life, including your physical, mental and emotional needs. They should cover:
- your role as a carer
- how you feel about caring
- whether you’re able or willing to carry on as a carer
- your health
- your work
- other caring responsibilities
- what you enjoy doing in your free time
- planning for emergencies.
Be honest and realistic about your caring role. If you put on a brave face or play down any difficulties, you could miss out on help and support.
After the assessment, your local council will work out whether your needs are eligible for support. If so, they will create a support plan for you. They might provide you with care and support directly, or provide it to the person you care for.
If you’re not eligible for support, they must still give you information and advice on where you can go for help.
How can I get support for the person I care for?
If the person you are caring for is struggling to cope by themselves, you can arrange a Needs Assessment from the local council.
The assessment will look at both their physical, mental and emotional needs. They might need help to get dressed or just an extra stair rail, but they also find out what’s important to the carer, such as them being able to carry on working or volunteering, or being able to meet friends.
A trained person will chat to them about their needs and the sort of help they could benefit from.
LINK to page on Needs Assessment/adaptations