Requesting a carer’s assessment
In order to work out if you are eligible for support as a carer, and to see how much help you need to make life easier for you, we will need to carry out a carer's assessment with you.
After the assessment we will identify and agree your needs with you and discuss the help and support available to meet them.
When completing the carer's assessment we may also offer to assess the needs of the person you look after.
The amount you pay for support will depend on what services you receive and your financial circumstances. This will be explained to you as part of the carer's assessment process.
The carer's assessment will look at whether you have any support needs in your own right because of your caring role and how these needs effect your wellbeing.
We may carry out the assessment with you or may arrange for a local organisation to carry out the assessment on our behalf.
Carers and the Care Act 2014
You are entitled to an assessment of your own needs, regardless of whether the person you care for has eligible needs.
This means, that as a carer, if you have eligible needs of your own, you will have the right to have support to help you carry on caring and look after your own wellbeing.
We recognise and value your role as a carer and see you as vital in planning and providing support to the person you care for.
Caring for someone covers lots of different areas, like helping with washing, dressing or eating, taking the person you care for to regular appointments or keeping them company when they feel lonely or anxious.
Looking after someone can be tiring and stressful and can take up a lot of your time. It can often end up affecting your own health, wellbeing and independence.
As carers, you want to be able to access timely support when you need it.
Therefore, we will work with you to ensure that you:
- have access to good information and advice
- are signposted or directed to appropriate agencies such as benefits advice lines, websites, libraries, citizen advice bureaux, leisure centres and work opportunities
- are informed of your right to have a carer’s assessment, either jointly with the cared for person or separately
- are involved in planning and decision-making from the outset so that you and the person you care for have choice and control over your care and support
- are supported in maintaining a balance between your caring responsibilities and a life outside caring - this includes young carers
- can access a range of support services when you need it (for example, respite care/ carers breaks, access to carers groups, support systems and emergency care) to help sustain you in your caring role
- are supported to maintain your own health and wellbeing.
Assessing your wellbeing
The assessment will look at the different ways caring affects your life. It will look at how you can carry on doing things that are important to you and your household. Your physical, mental and emotional wellbeing will be at the heart of this assessment.
You can have a carer’s assessment even if the person you care for does not get any help from the council. This may be carried out by council staff or staff from the carers organisation in your borough.
Following an assessment you may be eligible for support in your own right. This does not depend on whether the adult for whom you provide care/support has eligible needs. The decision about your eligibility is based on the impact of caring on your wellbeing. The person assessing you will explain the process in more detail.
If following an assessment you have eligible needs, the assessor will help you plan your support options to help you in your caring role. One of these may be a carer’s personal budget. This is a sum of money which you can use to pay for support and activities which will help you to manage the demands of being a carer. The assessor can provide more information about carer’s personal budgets following an assessment.
Assessing the person you care for
It can be very useful to you as a carer and the person you care for to have an assessment of their needs. Following an assessment, provided the person you care for has eligible needs, they can receive support from the council.
Criteria and outcomes to be considered as part of the assessment
Following the assessment a carer will only be entitled to support if the following 3 conditions have all been met:
1. The carer's need for support arises because they are providing necessary care and support for another adult.
2. The carer's own physical or mental health is deteriorating, or is at risk of deteriorating.
The carer is unable to achieve one or more 'outcomes' in their own life because of the effects of their caring role.
3. As a result of statement 2 there is, or is likely to be, a significant effect on the carer's own 'wellbeing'. Wellbeing is a word that covers things like health and happiness.
The person completing the assessment with the carer, will need to consider whether the carer can achieve the following outcomes alongside carrying out their caring role.
1. Carry out any additional caring responsibilities they have for a child, alongside their caring responsibilities for the adult
The carer might, for example, be a grandparent with caring responsibilities for their grandchildren.
2. Provide care to other people, as well as to the adult in question
For example some people find themselves providing care to both an elderly parent, and to another relative with a disability or health problem.
3. Maintain a habitable (safe and hygienic) home environment, which does not present a risk to the carer's wellbeing
A habitable home should have essential amenities such as water, electricity and gas.
4. Manage and maintain a healthy, nutritious diet
The carer should have the time to do essential shopping and to prepare meals for themselves and their family.
5. Develop and maintain family or other significant personal relationships
Is the carer in a position where their caring role prevents them from maintaining key relationships with family and friends, or from developing new relationships?
6. Take part in work, training, education or volunteering.
Is the carer able to continue in their job, or take part in training course or education, or volunteer to help others, or have the opportunity to get a job, if they are not already in employment?
7. Make use of necessary facilities or services in the local community
Does the carer have opportunities to make use of the local community's services and, for example, have time to use recreational facilities such as gyms or swimming pools.
8. Join in recreational activities
Does the carer have leisure time? This might mean time to engage in an interest or hobby.
If the carer is unable to achieve any 1 of these outcomes then we will consider whether:
The carer's needs and their inability to achieve an outcome impacts on an area of their wellbeing in a significant way.
The impact on a number of the areas of wellbeing combines to have a significant impact on a carer's overall wellbeing.
If 1 of these 2 statements is true, and if the carer has also met both the other 'criteria', then they will be entitled to support from the council in carrying out the caring role.