A carer's assessment is simply a conversation with you that will help us understand the impact that caring is having on your life.
About carer's assessments
Having a carer's assessment can help you understand the impact caring is having on your life and how best to support you. You may be able to get help and advice with financial concerns, your own health, practical help in the home, and any worries about the future. Even if you are not eligible there are a range of services in the borough you can access free of charge.
Many people are a carer at some point in their lives, even though they may have other responsibilities or need support themselves. Being a carer can be emotionally and physically challenging. It is important that you look after yourself to make sure you stay healthy and well.
A carer's assessment is simply a conversation with you that will help us understand the impact that caring is having on your life. It will help us find out a bit more about you and your interests, whether you are able and willing to carry on caring and how we can work in partnership to help you to live the best life you can. This will help us to determine the best support for you. This may include:
- Advice and information
- Emotional support opportunities
- Carer's Emergency Card
- Help with using technology
- Respite care for the person you care for
- Short breaks and leisure opportunities
- Training to help you in your caring role
- Advice and support to help you in employment
- Direct payments so you can choose the support you need
- Referral to voluntary and community services who can provide further advice and support
The level of support you will receive from us will depend on a number of factors, but whatever the outcome of your assessment, we will always give you further information and advice relevant to your individual circumstances and signpost you to other local services.
We always aim to carry out your carer's assessment at the same time as the assessment of the person you care for, if you both agree to this. Doing both assessments at the same time helps us to see the full picture. However, some carers prefer to have their assessment separately. Maybe you do not feel comfortable telling us if you are not coping very well because you are worried you might upset the person you are caring for. We will work with you to find the best possible solution.
How to prepare for an assessment
Try and spend some time before your assessment to think about your own needs and the kind of help that would make it easier for you to be a carer. You may find it helpful to keep a diary of everything you do and ask yourself:
- Are you happy to continue caring?
- Are you able and willing to provide care on a regular basis?
- Do you get enough sleep and does caring affect your health?
- Are you able to get out and about with the person you care for?
- Do you get any time to yourself?
- Are other relationships affected?
- Are you worried you may need to give up work?
- Is the person you care for getting enough help?
If you have substantial difficulty completing the assessment and there is no other appropriate person to help you, we will arrange for an independent advocate to assist you.
After the assessment
All the information gathered during the assessment will help us make a decision about whether or not you are eligible for support from the council. We do this by using the national eligibility criteria for carers. Whatever the outcome of your assessment, we will always give you further information and advice relevant to your individual circumstances and signpost you to other local services.
If you are eligible for support, we will develop a support plan with you, detailing how your needs will be met. The plan will describe what you need help with, what you want to change and how this will be achieved. This will help us tailor your support to your specific needs and circumstances.
We will provide information, advice and access to services or we may arrange services through another organisation. If your needs cannot be met in this way, we may offer you a direct payment. In most instances this will be a one-off payment.
We will offer you a Carers Emergency Card and work with you to develop an emergency plan to make sure that, in the event of an emergency, you have peace that the person you care for will receive help and support whilst you're not there.
You may also be able to eligible for a short break (or respite) from caring. Breaks can be regular or just when needed and can range from an afternoon to a few weeks depending on the circumstances. Respite is considered to be a service for the person you care for because the replacement support is provided for them, so they may have to pay a contribution towards the costs.
What happens if things change
We understand that your needs and wishes may change over time. This could be because the needs of the person you are looking after change, or your own health could be changing. We will contact you once a year to reflect on how things are going, but if you think you need help sooner, you can contact us on the number below to discuss your concerns.
What if I am unhappy with the outcome
If you are unhappy with your assessment or any other part of the process, we want to hear about it as soon as possible. We recommend that you speak to the team who carried out your assessment in the first instance. If you can't come to an agreement, you can let us know in writing what you are unhappy about and why you think the process has been unfair or inaccurate.
Once we have heard from you, we will look at your concerns and may contact you to discuss the issue. We will always respond to you in writing. If you are still not satisfied, you can use our complaints procedure.
Richmond Carers' Centre
Richmond Carers' Centre can provide further advice and support about carer's assessments and how to access local services.
Up to: Looking after someone
Updated: 04 October 2021