Assessments for carers
If you provide a regular and substantial amount of care for someone, you are entitled to a carer's assessment from your local Health and Social Care Trust.
What will be assessed?
There is no set definition of 'regular and substantial care'. A carer's assessment means social services will look at your situation and see if you are entitled to any services that could make caring easier for you.
Preparing for a carer's assessment
The assessment is an opportunity for you to help the social worker understand the impact caring has on you, and talk about the services they may be able to provide to help you. So it may be a good idea to make a list, or keep a diary, of everything you do to help look after the person you care for. Some things you may want to think about are:
- do you get enough sleep?
- is your health affected by caring?
- can you leave the person you are looking after?
- are you worried about having to give up work?
- do you get enough time to yourself?
You might also include how caring affects you because of your:
- work or study (or if you are looking to work or study)
- other activities or commitments
The assessment can be carried out at your home or at the home of the person you are caring for. The assessment is about you. The person you care for does not need to be present. If there is more than one carer providing regular care in your household, you are both entitled to an assessment.
Services that may be available
Services that may help you and the person you care for include:
- a break from caring
- help with housework
- changes to equipment or adaptations to the home
- emotional support
Remember that this assessment is about your needs as a carer. The needs of the person you are caring for should be discussed in their own needs assessment. If your situation changes, for example you need more support, you can ask for a re-assessment.
Your care plan
Social services will develop a 'care plan' based on your care assessment and the community care assessment of the person you care for. This plan should include the support and services you have been assessed as needing.
Ensure that your assessment covers what would happen in an emergency. The health professional involved in your carer’s assessment should be able to help you with planning for this.
Paying for services
Your right to an assessment, and to the services and support you may receive, is not linked to your income or capital (savings or land property).