Caring can be a very demanding role and it can be easy to feel like the focus is anywhere but on you.
However, your needs are important and that is where carer's assessments come in.
Carer's assessments are used by social services to make sure you are able to cope with your caring role and maintain a good quality of life whilst doing so. A carer’s assessment involves an appointment with social services to discuss your needs as a carer and to provide support for you in your caring role. A care plan will also be drawn up to make sure that both your needs and the needs of the person you are caring for are being met.
Before your assessment takes place you may want to think about -
Are you are happy with the level of care that you are providing? It may be that you are taking on a lot purely because that is what needs to be done or it is what you feel is expected of you. If you feel it is too much or that you cannot cope it is important to let the social worker know. You are not expected to take on caring work that you are struggling or unhappy with.
Are your care needs being met? It may be helpful to make a note of these before you have your appointment.
What do you do in your caring role? It can be useful to note down what you do as part of your caring role and how it affects the rest of your life.
The assessment can take place with the person you are caring for. If, however, you would feel more comfortable on your own or you have something you wish to disclose in private then you can request a separate appointment. You can also take someone along with you for support if you wish.
You can apply for a carer’s assessment through social services. In certain circumstances, such as when the person you are caring for is assessed, you may be offered a carer’s assessment without having to request it. However you may be in the situation where you need to actively seek an assessment.
Once you have had your assessment the social worker will draw up a care plan to help support you. This will then be reviewed at least once a year to make sure you are still coping with your role. If you have not been caring for very long or if your caring role is challenging or complex then you may be reassessed more often.
Carer’s UK has lots of information to help you get ready for the assessment.