Norfolk County Council has a legal responsibility to assess your needs as a carer, if you think you need support to care for someone else. It also has a duty to consider how being a carer affects your wellbeing. This means you have a right to:
- be treated with dignity and respect
- physical, mental and emotional wellbeing
- protection from abuse and neglect
- control over day-to-day life (including over your care and support)
- work, education, training or recreation
- social and economic wellbeing
- family and personal relationships
- suitable living accommodation
- contribute to society
You don’t have to have a Carer’s Assessment and it is not about judging how well you look after the cared-for person. It gives you the opportunity to consider the things you want to achieve in your life. It covers important issues, such as: whether you work, or want to work, and whether you want to study or do more socially. It will also consider whether you are able, or willing, to provide, and continue to provide care. You can have an assessment separately, or together with the person you care for. If you have arranged to have a Carer’s Assessment, give yourself plenty of time to think about your role as a carer and note your thoughts down. You might consider:
- whether you want to continue being a carer and if, you were prepared to continue, what changes would make your life easier
- if there is any risk that you will not be able to continue as a carer without getting support
- whether you have any physical or mental health problems, including stress or depression, which make your role as a carer more difficult
- whether being a carer affects your relationships with other people, including family and friends
- if you are in paid work, whether being a carer causes problems at your work (such as often being late)
- if you would like more time to yourself so that you can have a rest or enjoy some leisure activity
- whether you would like to do some training, voluntary work or paid work.
If you think that you might have difficulty taking part in the assessment, Norfolk County Council will make sure that a friend or family member can help and represent you. If you don’t have someone you can ask, and you have a lot of difficulty with being involved, the Council may find an independent advocate. After the assessment, the Council will decide whether you need support directly from them. To be eligible for support you need to be unable to do one or more things that have, or are likely to have, a significant impact on your wellbeing.
You may be eligible for support such as a Direct Payment to spend on the things that make caring easier, such as: one off items of household equipment or equipment for the cared-for person, leisure activities to reduce stress or practical support, like arranging for someone to step in when you need a short break. If you are eligible for support from the Council, they will agree a Support Plan with you. Even if you aren’t eligible, they will provide you with information and may suggest you contact Norfolk Carers.
Norfolk Carers can put you in touch with local support groups, so that you have other carers to talk to. We can also help you to: find local grants and funding for caring, take a short break or to get individual support with the practical and emotional aspects of caring. Call us on 0808 808 9876.
Carers Assessments: NHS Choices Video
What Happens After a Carers Assessment NHS Choices Video
Carers’ experiences of a having a Carers Assessment: Skills for Care Video
Your Rights to a Carers Assessment: Information about the Care Act from Carers UK