Carers have a legal right to an assessment of their own needs. This is in relation to the effect caring for someone is having on their own health and other commitments such as work or family. If you have not been offered a Carer’s Assessment ask for one yourself, it is your right. The Carer Needs Assessment is usually done by your local authority social work team or your carer support worker from the Carers Centre. If you are not sure what care you are looking for, ask for advice from your Carers Centre before your assessment. Add as much detail as you can about the care you give, how long it takes and the frequency of the tasks you have to do. How does giving this level of care affect your life and health?
Once the Carer Needs Assessment has been done your local authority will then decide what support they are able to offer to meet your needs. Carers can be any age and you do not have to live with the person you care for or be related to them. Even if the person you care for does not want to have local authority help themselves you can still ask for an assessment. There are many ways in which you may be able to benefit so you can continue your care role.
If you are intending to care for someone once they come home from hospital, you can also ask for a Carer Needs Assessment. If you are new to caring this may be useful to give you information on where to get help and advice later. You could get information about your local carers group for example. You may not have considered all the implications which caring for someone may have on other aspects of your life.
If you have been in a care role for some time but are now finding this is difficult, you can ask for a Carer Needs Assessment. Perhaps your own health has changed or you have to go back to work or education. It can be a difficult time for you when you can no longer care for a person but still care about them. The Carer Needs Assessment can give you the opportunity to discuss your feelings with an independent person who is not directly involved with the person or their family. For example, there may be a short break or respite available in your area.