Carer Support Wiltshire carries out carers assessments in Wiltshire.
The carer’s assessment is an opportunity to speak to someone about your caring role, the impact it is having on you and what might help you, either now or in the future. It usually takes around an hour to complete and you can choose whether you would prefer a telephone assessment, face to face or self-assessment.
You have a legal right to an assessment, even if the person you care for refuses a care assessment or services. It is an assessment for you as a carer, which is looking at your needs and preferences. It is NOT an assessment of your ability to care.
If you feel you would benefit from a carer’s assessment, call Carer Support Wiltshire on 0800 181 4118 and ask to speak to a member of staff about having a carer’s assessment. We will have an initial conversation with you to determine whether an assessment is needed for you access support. There is a waiting list for a carer’s assessment, and this can vary from a few days to a few weeks depending on your circumstances. You will be advised on how long you should expect to wait.
The information on this page is relevant if you are an adult who is providing care to an adult. If you are providing care to a child aged under 18 you can still access support from Carer Support Wiltshire, but a parent carer’s assessment will be carried out by Wiltshire Council.
You can get more information on how to get an assessment of your needs and the needs of your family by contacting the Wiltshire Parent Carer Council on 01225 764647 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
If your child has a Special Educational Need or Disability (SEND) you can also contact the SEND 0-25 service on 01225 757985 to request a family assessment.
Some things to consider before your assessment
- Would you feel more comfortable talking to someone face-to-face in your home or over the phone. Or would you prefer to complete the form yourself?
- Would you like to have the person you care for there with you? If the person you care for is there, will you be able to talk as openly and honestly about the impact your caring role has on you? You may also choose to have someone else with you to support you, such as a friend or family member.
- What impact is your caring role having on you? See the section below and take time to think about things before the assessment. It might help to write notes so you don’t forget anything, although if you do forget anything you can always contact us afterwards.
- What support would help you? Do you need more time to yourself or is there a practical need / home adaptation or equipment that would help you as a carer? In an ideal world, would you be given some time every week to yourself or do you need some time away (on your own or with your family/the person you care for?).
- You might find it cathartic to talk to someone about your caring role and all of the feelings you have around it. It might be upsetting for you and it’s okay to be upset. If possible, it can be good to organise some time to yourself after the assessment and do something that you enjoy and find relaxing, to let your emotions settle.
Common myths about the carer’s assessment
You need to be living with the person you care for – FALSE
You need to be the sole carer for someone – FALSE. If someone is being cared for by more than one person, each person may have a carer’s assessment.
You need to be providing 40+ hours care a week to be eligible – FALSE. It doesn’t matter how many hours you are spending caring for someone. Everyone has a different level of coping and every caring situation is unique and cannot be assessed just on number of hours spent caring.
You can only have one carer’s assessment – FALSE. It will often be appropriate to have a carer’s assessment again after a year or so if your caring situation has changed significantly, for example you are giving more care. Because there is a waiting list for the assessment though, it’s best if your assessment looks at what needs you may have in the near future and how these needs could be supported.
What impact is your caring role having on you?
A carer’s assessment can be a good opportunity to take the time to really consider how you are feeling about your caring role and what impact it has had on you, emotionally, physically, and mentally. Some things you may want to think about before your assessment and talk about with the person carrying out your assessment are:
- Do you get enough sleep?
- Do you get any time for yourself?
- Are you able to take part in leisure activities?
- Are you able to see family and friends or are you finding yourself becoming more distant from them?
- If you are working or studying, what impact does your caring role have on this?
- Are you worried you might have to give up work or studying?
- Do you have time to clean and maintain your home?
- Do you have the time to prepare and eat nutritious meals for yourself?
- Is the person you care for getting enough help to support you?
- Do you want information about benefits?
- Do you want to continue supporting the person you care for? If you do, what will help you to do that? If you don’t, what could the next steps be?
What happens during the assessment?
A member of our assessment team will arrange to talk to you, in-person or over the phone. Our assessment team is a small team of trained and experienced staff members who speak with carers every day. A carer’s assessment is a person-centred and holistic conversation. You should feel free to discuss anything that is having an impact on your caring role and your own wellbeing.
The staff member will guide the conversation around the assessment form, which they will complete usually after meeting with you, while taking notes during your conversation. You should also feel able to take your own notes. They will be looking to find out what needs your needs are because of providing necessary care to an adult and the things you are ‘unable’ to achieve. For example, are you unable to achieve the following:
- Carrying out any caring responsibilities you have for a child
- Providing care to another person for whom you provide care
- Maintaining a habitable home environment
- Managing and maintaining nutrition
- Developing and maintaining family or other significant personal relationships
- Accessing and engaging in work, training, education or volunteering
- Making use of necessary facilities or services in the local community, including recreational facilities or services
The assessment is also looking at your own physical and mental health and whether it has deteriorated because of caring for someone or is at risk of deteriorating.
While it may be useful for you to know what the assessment is looking at, it’s not necessary for you to evidence or be prepared in advance to discuss all these issues. The person carrying out the assessment will guide the conversation to gain an understanding of how your caring role is affecting you.
What happens after the assessment?
Your assessment form will be completed by the staff member who spoke to you and goals and recommendations will be made. These may have been discussed with you when you had your assessment.
If you are considered to have eligible needs and support is agreed, then any funded outcomes are free to unpaid carers.
The sorts of support that may be recommended include a direct payment, which can be paid directly to you, or the Council will pay an agency directly for someone to care for the person you support so that you can have a break. Other types of support can include one-off respite, a short break, training and equipment.
Most carers find a carer’s assessment to be a positive experience, which gives them the space to consider their own needs and more control over the situation they are in.