Caring can be tough, and lots of people don’t like to ask for help. But some extra support could make a world of difference.
What help can I get from social services?
As well as assessing the needs of the person you care for, your local council's social services department should give you a carer’s assessment to see what help you might need in your caring role.
You can get a carer’s assessment whether the person you care for is having their needs assessed or not.
The kind of help and support you could get includes:
- respite care to give you a break
- information on local support groups
- help with caring
- equipment to help you in your caring role.
You may also be entitled to a 'personal budget', which is the amount of money the council has calculated will cover the support needs identified in your assessment. This can be taken as a 'direct payment' and could help you maintain your interests outside of your caring responsibilities – for example, by covering membership of a club or an internet connection.
How do I arrange a carer’s assessment and what will happen?
Contact your local social services department to request a carer’s assessment.
Contact your local council
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Before your assessment, it's worth looking at the following questions and thinking about whether being a carer is having a significant impact on these or other things in your life.
- Are you getting enough sleep?
- Are you eating well?
- Is your health being affected by caring?
- Can you get out and do things by yourself?
- Can you cope with other family commitments?
- Is juggling work and caring difficult?
- Are you able to pursue your work or educational goals?
- Can you socialise and enjoy your hobbies in the way that you used to
It's also a good idea to consider whether there are any other issues that may affect your ability to continue caring.
During the assessment, you’ll have a chance to talk about the care you provide and the impact it has on your life. The assessor will look at the support you get and whether other services could help you. They’ll also advise you on any benefits you’re entitled to and other sources of help.
Following the assessment, you’ll get a letter describing the support you could get and who will provide it.
What should I do next?
To get help from social services, call them and ask for a carer’s assessment. You could also ask for a needs assessment for the person you care for too.
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