The community social worker you see will usually be from the adults with physical disability section. They will have specialist knowledge of the services available locally and what you may be entitled to. Some will have been trained in stroke but others may not so when you see a community social worker it may be useful to give as much detail as you can about how the stroke has affected the person you care for.
They will carry out a care needs assessment for the person after stroke and may also carry out a carer’s needs assessment for you. Both these assessments are part of your rights. If you are not offered a carer assessment you can request one at any time. Once the assessment has been done they should inform you about the services the local authority will be able to provide, if there is a waiting list or if you are not eligible for a service. They will then be responsible for managing the case and setting up whatever has been agreed with you. This could be a package of care, assistance to fill in benefits forms, access to local resources, risk assessment or setting up emergency care if required.
A financial assessment will be done with you because some of the services may be means tested (costs you pay depend on your ability to pay, savings , income etc.) Some services may be free depending on your own circumstances. If you wish to arrange your own care the social worker can give advice and supply a list of private care agencies. They can give help to make your own arrangements. This is known as self directed support. The person or the carer is in effect an employer of the care workers and has more flexibility about what tasks they do and when.
Large care packages do not mean 24 hour care at home. Some authorities provide a fixed amount of funding which can then be spent flexibly to meet the needs of the person. In reality this can mean four visits per day maximum. If the person requires two carers to assist with moving and handling tasks this may mean three visits per day. Any additional top up funding may be necessary from their own finances including savings and any benefits they are eligible for.