Carers' needs can be assessed even if the person with dementia doesn't want theirs to be
From the May 2015 issue of our magazine, Sam Cox, Legal and Welfare Rights Knowledge Officer, looks at how a carer can have a needs assessment of their own.
'My wife has dementia and decided she didn't want a needs assessment just yet. Can I still get support from the council as her carer?'
You are entitled to a carer's assessment even if your wife does not want her own needs to be assessed.
Carers' assessments are arranged through social services. They are usually done at home, but if this is difficult you can ask about meeting somewhere else that is convenient, such as a library, council offices, job centre or even a café.
The assessment will see what support you need as a carer and whether the local authority will fund any of this. They can't provide services to your wife, including respite care, without assessing her.
Your assessment will look at services for you, such as training and help around the home. It will consider your needs as a carer and focus on what could support you in this role.
It can help to write a list of the care and support you provide and to think about what support you would like. The local authority should provide you with a list of their questions in advance.
After the assessment the local authority will consider whether you are entitled to support provided by them. This may involve a financial assessment to determine whether they will fund any of this support or if you will be expected to pay for it.
They should provide you with information about where you can get this help and support, and how to arrange it. You can ask them to arrange the support for you, though they may charge an administration fee for doing this.
See our factsheet Assessments for care and support in England or call 0300 303 5933 to order.