Carer assessments - Who does them and any good news from them?

I am new to the forum I am a carer for my son with Cerbral Palsy he is 16 year old. I am also a mature student studing to become an OT.
I am looking at carer assessments, I have never had one and I just wondered what format they take and who did it IF anyone has had one!

Hi @Caroline1 Welcome! Lovely to see you.

I’m glad to hear you’re considering a Carer assessment. Here’s the Carers UK information page and video: Carer's assessment | Carers UK

It’s definitely worth doing one, to check if you can get more support.
I helped Mum go through one early on in caring for my Dad and then later when their need for support increased.
There are a lot of questions so pace yourself and if you have questions it may be worth chatting to the advice helpline or emailing CarersUK: Contact us | Carers UK

personally I always say it’s good to have a good friend or someone with you, if that’s possible. This helps with note taking, listening and offering additional comments…4 ears are better than 2!

The info page has the details but here’s a copy paste of prepping & during the assessment: How can I prepare for a carer’s assessment?

Collect all the relevant information you’ll need:

  • your NHS number
  • your GP’s name, address and phone number details
  • your email address
  • contact details of anyone coming to the assessment with you
  • details of the person you care for including their name, address, date of birth and NHS number.

Things to think about beforehand

  • Make a list of the different ways you are providing support, such as offering emotional support, managing finances, helping someone with practical activities such as shopping, ensuring someone is safe from harm, or helping with personal needs such as using the bathroom.
  • Consider how caring affects your life. Does it leave enough time for you? Does it affect your emotional wellbeing – for example, do you often feel drained or lonely? Does it affect you physically – for example, do you lose sleep or get back ache from lifting someone regularly? Has it affected your work, social life or education?
  • If the person you care for will be present at the assessment, will you be able to speak freely about any difficulties you have?

What happens during the assessment?

The assessor will discuss how caring affects your life, including your physical, mental and emotional needs. They should cover:

  • your role as a carer
  • how you feel about caring
  • whether you’re able or willing to carry on as a carer
  • your health
  • your work
  • other caring responsibilities
  • what you enjoy doing in your free time
  • planning for emergencies.

Be honest and realistic about your caring role. If you put on a brave face or play down any difficulties, you could miss out on help and support.

2 Likes

Hello @Caroline1 and welcome to the Forum. I think you will find it a friendly and welcoming place and one where you can get support and information from people who are in a similar situation to you and - more importantly - UNDERSTAND! You certainly have your work cut out if you are full time Carer for a 16 year old AND studying. I take my hat off to you.

I had a Carers Assessment a year ago after a long wait following my request. (I chased it up and someone at the Carer’s Support Centre told me “oh I think there’s too much emphasis put on C.A.'s just ask us for what you need and we’ll see if we can help”) At the time it was not a good experience. That was down to the form I was asked to complete - the total lack of information or guidance given and then, and I use this word advisedly, LIES by staff who were dealing with it.

The form I received read more like an Annual Career Review, asking for what I enjoyed about my role; what I needed in order to develop in my role and where I saw my role going in the next twelve months!!! What a useless document.

I then received a letter informing me that I had discussed the assessment with a member of staff and I had highlighted some points. I had NO CONTACT from anyone until I received that letter so someone, somewhere, had lied about speaking with me. I complained in writing and was ignored until I went through the formal Complaints Procedure of the local Council. They passed the buck to the local Carers Support Centre as their “agent”. Under the Care Act they cannot pass responsibility for a CA - it rests with the Council!

Eventually I had a telephone re-assessment the upshot of which was they didn’t think they could do much to help me. BUT I did get a grant of £200 towards funding something I like to do.

Sorry that all seems very negative, but just my experience. The Council did say they have had problems with the Team which deals with CA’s and that had been made worse by sickness and Annual Leave! No excuse there! I will look forward to when I am next due a review as I wont be fobbed off so easily.

The advice I would give is read through the lists of points @Victoria_1806 posted and be better prepared than I was, DO NOT be fobbed off and if they start to push you aside remind them of their responsibilities under the Care Act. Quoting that can make them take notice as they will think you know more about it than they do - even if that is not totally true!

Its terrible to have to play games like this, but its another example of Local Authorities and ‘tick-box’ exercises so they can say “aren’t we wonderful - we have done all these Carers’ Assessments”…

If your son is 16 and you have never had a CA it is a poor reflection on the Council.

On a different topic. Some years ago I worked for a short time at a school for P.H. children and I found it a wonderful experience. I was brought up near Thorngrove Home in Dorset and we befriended some of the young teenagers living there and Mum kept in touch with two of them (Liz and Martin) for many years after we moved away and they went to live elsewhere. Meeting them taught me so much about accepting people’s differences and I will be forever grateful for that.

4 Likes

Hello Caroline,

I had a Carers Assessment about two months ago. It followed a call I made to the reception of the community mental health team who are supporting my youngest son (and with whom he rarely engages). I told them I could not cope with his behaviour.

A day or two after the call, a social worker, who has tried to contact my son to conduct a needs assessment on several occasions, e-mailed me asking if I would like to have a CA. I agreed.

I chose to have the assessment at the social worker’s office. They asked me about how my caring role impacted on me, whether I had any respite, what extra support I needed.

Like Chris, I found the format of the form and the interview it produced frustrating. It did not really fit my situation. My desperation did not come from my needs not being met, but rather they arise from my son’s needs not being met.

I think the most positive thing for me was the knowledge that the local authority do recognise my son as a vulnerable adult, and they are aware he has no real informal network of support, therefore, if anything does happen to me, they will check up on him.

However, I have not had any contact from the social worker since, and I have not received a summary of the report.

This is only my experience. I am aware that other people may have had much more positive experiences of Carers Assessments.

2 Likes