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Carers Assessment

What is a Carers Assessment?

A Carers Assessment is a conversation with your local Social Services to find out whether you are entitled to any of the help they can provide with your caring role. It is important as they provide a number of services that can really take the strain off you in a lot of ways.

If you care for someone for 'a substantial amount of time on a regular basis', then you should ask for a "Carers Assessment". It gives you a chance to discuss what help you may need as a carer, including what you need to keep yourself healthy and make sure you balance your caring role with your own life, work and family commitments. Social services use the assessment to decide what help they will provide.

As well as looking at the immediate help you need, the assessment can be useful in:

  • Exploring how you feel about caring with a professional who understands the commitment you are making.
  • Giving you information on benefits and support such as carers groups. * Deciding if you want to stay or return to work and how to make this happen.
  • Looking at how caring may affect you in the future and what help you might need.

Who can ask for a Carers Assessment?

You should ask for an Assement whether you are living with or away from the person you care for, caring full time or combining care with paid work. It will aslo apply if you are going to look after someone in the near future, and you just want to sort yourself out before the care actually begins.

How do I get an assessment?

You may be offered a carer's assessment by your social services department or, if not, can ask for one. The telephone number and address of the social services department will be listed in the phone book under the name of your local authority. You can also ask your GP or district nurse to contact social services for you.

If the person you look after is in hospital, speak to a nurse and ask to be put in touch with a hospital social worker.

Sometimes you may be told that you are not entitles to an Assessment, either by a GP or other health professional.

If you are caring for someone, and you think that you should be entitled to an assessment, then don't be frightened to challenge the decision - unfortunately the professionals do sometimes get it wrong. You can write to the Social Services Department of you Local Authority asking them to look in to why you have been or refused.

Or if you prefer you can ask for help from the Citizens Advice Bureau. You'll find your local Offices for them both in the local telephone book or by looking online.

What Should You Do Now?

Find the number for your Local Council in the Phone Book or by looking on Line and ask to speak to the Social Services Department. Tell them about your Caring Role, and that you want to apply for a Carers Assessment.

 

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