Carer Support Dorset can refer carers for carer assessments, which are carried out by Dorset Council.
The carer 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.
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 would like to learn more about a carer assessment or feel you may benefit from one, please call Carer Support Dorset on 0800 368 8349 and speak to one of our carer advisers.
We will talk to you about your caring role and help you to understand if a referral to Dorset Council for a Carers Assessment could help you to access the support you need. If so, we will ask you some questions about your current circumstances and share this with Dorset Council Adult Services team. The local social care office in your area will then contact you to discuss the referral and inform you of their current estimated waiting times.
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. You can contact Carer Support Dorset to discuss being referred for a parent carer assessment, which will be conducted by Dorset Council.
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 might be good to organise some time to yourself after the assessment, to do something that you enjoy and find relaxing, to let your emotions settle.
Common myths about the carer 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 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. Every carer 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 assessment – FALSE.
It will often be appropriate to have a carer 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 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?
If you would like to have a carers’ assessment, please call us on 0800 368 8349 or Dorset Council on 01305 221016. Find out more about the carers’ assessment on the Dorset Council website – www.dorsetcouncil.gov.uk/carers-assessment