If you care for someone, you can have an assessment to see what might help make your life easier. This is called a carer's assessment.
It might recommend things like:
A carer's assessment is free and anyone over 18 can ask for one.
It's separate from the needs assessment the person you care for might have, but you can ask to have them both done at the same time.
Contact adult social services at your local council and ask for a carer's assessment.
If you're a parent carer or a child, contact the children with disabilities department.
You can call or do it online.
You're a carer if you're looking after someone regularly because they're ill, elderly or disabled – including family members.
Carers help with:
They can also give emotional support by:
All of these count as being a carer.
Someone from the council, or an organisation the council works with, will ask how you're coping with caring.
This includes how it affects your physical and mental health, work, free time and relationships.
The assessment is usually face to face. Some councils can do it over the phone or online.
Assessments usually last at least an hour.
Give as much detail as you can about the impact caring for someone is having on your life. This willl help make sure you get all the help and support you need.
Which? Later Life Care has a checklist of questions to help you prepare for a carer's assessment, regardless of your age.
It can help if you have someone with you during the assessment. This could be the person you care for, a friend or relative.
You could also use an advocate. Advocates are people who speak up on your behalf.
They can help you fill in forms and sit with you in meetings and assessments. They're often free.
If you want to talk to someone about carer's assessments, call:
You'll usually get the results of the assessment within a week.
If you qualify for help from the council, they'll write a care and support plan with you that sets out how they can help.
Your council might be able to help with the costs. You might need a financial assessment (means test) first. This will be arranged for you after the carer’s assessment.
You might also qualify for benefits for carers that can help with costs.
If you're told you don't qualify for help and support, your council should give you free advice about where you can get help in your community. Ask if this doesn't happen.
If you disagree with the results of your carer's assessment or how it was done, you can complain.
First complain to your local council. Your council should have a formal complaints procedure on its website. You should also be told about how to complain at your assessment.
If you're not happy with the way the council handles your complaint, you can take it to the local government and social care ombudsman. An ombudsman is an independent person who's been appointed to look into complaints about organisations.