What is a Carers Assessment?
If you look after a relative, disabled person or friend and caring has a major impact in your life then a carer’s assessment could help you.
You are a “carer” if you look after a relative, friend or disabled person who needs support to live at home. Your local council Social Services Department may be able to help to make things easier for you. They can provide services to the person you care for. They can also provide services for you.
To work out what services would be helpful in your situation, social services need to discuss:
- The help the person you care for needs
- The help you are giving at the moment
- The services your council may provide
The way this is done is called an “assessment”
A carer, in certain circumstances is entitled to an assessment of their own needs. Some carers do not make use of this because they may feel it will not result in any changes. Think again!
The purpose of a carer’s assessment is to discuss with social services the help you need with caring, plus help to maintain your own health and balance caring with your life, work and family commitments. Social services use the assessment to decide what help to provide.
A carer’s assessment is a service in its own right. It is the opportunity to talk through issues possibly for the first time and this can be a positive experience in itself.
You as a carer may be involved in several ways:
- If you care for a disabled child your needs will be considered as part of an assessment of needs of your child and family.
- If you care for an adult you can have a carers assessment to discuss the help that you need. This can happen even if the person you care for refuses help. You should also be able to contribute to the discussion of the needs of the person you care for (their Community Care assessment).
What your assessment is for ?
Your carer’s assessment is your opportunity to tell social services about the things that could make caring easier for you. A carer’s assessment is NOT a test of your caring abilities and is not something you should be apprehensive about.
You can ask to see a copy of the carers assessment form in advance so that if you want to, you can think about the topics that the assessor will discuss with you.
Some things you may want to think about:
- Do you get enough sleep?
- Is your health affected in other ways?
- Are you able to get out and about?
- Do you get any time for yourself?
- Are your other relationships affected?
- Do you want information about benefits?
- Are you worried you may have to give up work?
- Is the person you care for getting enough help?
What sort of services might help you:
- services that give you a break
- emotional support from othercarers or people who understand
- help with household tasks
- help with caring tasks during the day/night
- benefits advice
- activities for the person you care for
However all carers are individuals and your local council may provide any service to you that they think will help you care or help you maintain your wellbeing. So you may have some ideas of your own about services that would help you that you want to talk through with social services. Other services that you might want to discuss with them are those that may help the person you look after.
You can have a friend with you at the time of the assessment if you think that might be helpful. You are entitled to an assessment even if the person you care for refuses to have an assessment themselves. If you had a cares assessment in the past and you find that your circumstances have changed you can request a reassessment to look at your current needs.
Other things you may want social services to tell you about:
- Local or national support organisations you could contact
- Other help you could get
- Any charges for services
- What to do if you wish to complain
Contacting social services to ask for an assessment
You can request a carer’s assessment by letter or by telephone
The telephone number of your local council social services department will be found in your local telephone directory under local authority and then community information, or speak to your own GP
If you live in Rhondda Cynon Taf you can ring your Principal Office to request a carer’s assessment:
Rhondda: 01443 431513
Llantrisant: 01443 442100
Pontypridd: 01443 486731
Cynon: 01685 875481
Carers helplineYou can also ask for a copy of Cares Wales Leaflet called “How do I get help?” Carers assessments made clear”
Ring the Free phone Carersline 0808 100 1801 for a copy. They will also be able to answer any questions you may have about carers assessments, and can discuss any issues you might have prior to assessment .