The Care Act gives all unpaid carers the legal right to an assessment of their needs, called a Carer’s Assessment. This gives you the opportunity to talk about your needs as a carer and what would help you with your caring responsibilities.
Carers are entitled to an assessment in their own right regardless of whether or not the person they care for has had one or wants one.
There is no charge for an assessment. Many councils use guidelines to determine if people are able to receive services, which means the needs identified in the assessment will be compared against the council’s eligibility criteria.
Carers who are not assessed as being able to receive services should be given information about local voluntary organisations and services that can be accessed independently.
The assessment is for you, the carer. It should be offered to you on your own. This is so that you can talk honestly about caring and how it changes your life at home or at work.
You can request your Carers Assessment by contacting the Carers Advice Line 01753 303428, by registering online at sloughcarerssupport.co.uk or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also referred to SPACE by the Adult Early Help Team, CHMT or through another voluntary sector support group.
The Assessment will be carried out by an appointed SPACE associate. The Assessment can be carried out in your own home or in one of our offices, transport can be provided for you if you need it. In some cases the Assessment can be carried out over the phone and this can be discussed that the time of making the appointment.
Getting ready for the Assessment
A Carer’s Assessment is not a test and there are no right or wrong answers! It gives you the opportunity to think about how caring affects your life and how your needs may be met by social services or other support agencies.
It will include:
- Tasks undertaken and time involved
- Difficulties encountered in caring
- How you feel about your caring roles
- How you are coping with the level of care you are providing
- What impact caring is having on your health and well-being, employment, study and leisure interests
- What help and support would improve the situation
- What would you do in an emergency
You should think of the Carers Assessment as your chance to tell social services about the sorts of things that would make your caring role easier.
It may be helpful to think about the sorts of tasks undertaken for the person you care for, such as:
- Personal care
- Giving medication
- Providing transport
- Moving and lifting the person you care for
- Assisting with finances
- Emotional support
- And heavier tasks such as housework, shopping and gardening.
You should also make a note of your own health, has there been any changes in the last six months? Remember to include changes to your
- drinking or smoking habits
- diet or weight (have you gained or lost weight recently)
- Physical and mental health, keep a record of how often you feel depressed, anxious or stressed.
- Has your sleep pattern changed?
- Have you lost your balance or had any recent trips or falls?
Make a note of the number of hours (day and night) that you provide care over 7 days. Remember to include nights if you provide 24 hour care for someone.
You should also take some time to think about the tasks you don’t feel confident doing, these could be tasks where you have felt unsafe, untrained or don’t have the equipment to carryout effectively.
Decide how many hours you feel you cope with caring each week. This can be 0.
It is really important that you are able to explain the impact that the caring role has had on your life.
You may feel that you are unable to support other family members such as children, it might be that you have had to reduce your working hours, or have had to give up work altogether.
The sort of help you may get include:
- Practical support to help look after the person you care for
- Breaks and Direct Payments to help relieve the stress of caring
- Adaptations, alarms and equipment
- Advice and support on managing stress and looking after your health
When the information gathered from the Carers Assessment has been analysed you may be entitled to a payment to help you access services or equipment to assist you or improve your wellbeing.
You will also be given a Support or Prevention Plan. This plan will make recommendations to facilitate support that is tailored to your needs.
Speaking Up – Do you need an Advocate?
If you think you might have trouble understanding the Carers Assessment interview or if you have trouble communicating and you don’t have a friend or family member who can be present, you can request and Advocate. An Advocate is someone who can help you say what you want to say, and will also be able to explain the competed assessment to you.
Advocacy in Slough is free, confidential and independent. And can be contacted on
Tel: 01753 415299
How long will it take?
Once your details have been received your case will be referred to a SPACE associate and you will be contacted within two weeks for an assessment. It will take just over a month to process your assessment at which point you will be notified of whether you are eligible for a direct payment and you support/prevention plan will be discussed with you.