Looking at your needs as a carer – having a carer's assessment






   Oxford Dementia Centre

   Institute of Public Care

   Roosevelt Drive

   Oxford OX3 7XR

   Tel: 0845 120 4048


   email: info@disc.org.uk











This fact sheet offers information on who is a carer, the importance of recognising your own needs as a carer, having your own assessment as a carer with easier access to support and services.

Other fact sheets you may find useful


·        What is dementia?

·        Assessment and diagnosis

·        Treatment and therapy for people with dementia

·        Making your home dementia friendly

·        Making the decision about future plans for care

·        Getting help through financial benefits

·        Finding out what sort of help someone needs and who can provide it

·        Paying for community care services


What is the actual definition of a carer?

You are defined as a carer if you look after a relative, friend or disabled child who needs support to live at home provided the care is  substantial and regular” and is having or will have a central impact on your life either physically or mentally. If a carer fulfils the above definition they have a right to a carers assessment of their own needs.


What is the Carers and Disabled Children’s Act for?

The Carers and Disabled Children’s Act 2000 gives carers better access to services in their own right, it also gives them the right to their own assessment, even if the person they are caring for has refused theirs.    It allows local authorities to provide some services to the carer directly and recognises that carers need support themselves e.g. counselling services.

There is provision for carers to receive vouchers, which either have a cash value or may be exchanged for services.  Local authorities have the power to make cash payments known as direct payments to allow community carers to buy their own support and services.


Recognising your own needs as a carer


How your caring role is affecting you – Checklist for Carers


Assessment - Department of Health Carers and Disabled Children's Act Practice Guidance


Breaks and social life

Can you regularly get a break to see friends, have time to yourself (not just for going to the GP, dentist or do the shopping)?


Physical well being

What is your health like?


Is your sleep affected?


Do you undertake any tasks such as lifting (moving and handling) that affect your back?

Relationships and mental well being

Is caring having an impact on relationships with the cared for person or other members of the family?


What are stress, depression and anxiety levels like?


Can the carer maintain their faith – related activities?

Care of the homes/s

Are there any issues about the care of the home/s?


Does it all fall to you as the carer?


Are there any problems with where the cared for person lives?

Can equipment or adaptations help?





Are finances a problem?

Would advice on benefits or managing money or debt be helpful?

Work / Education and training

If you are working do you want to stay in work?


How could you be supported to stay at work?


What are the options?


Would you like advice on these issues?


Do you want to develop your skill, work related or otherwise?


Is it likely that you will have to give up because of your caring role?


Current practical and emotional support

Who / what helps you at the moment?


Is there enough support and are you satisfied with people who are providing the support you are receiving?


Are you aware of support groups, carers centres or counselling services in your area?

Wider responsibilities

What other wider responsibilities do you have for example other caring roles, work, looking after grandchildren, volunteering?


Is balancing these responsibilities causing you difficulties?


Are other family relationships suffering as a result?

Future Caring Role

How do you see your future?


What do you feel will affect your ability to care now?


What will affect your ability to care in the long – term?

Emergencies / Alternative arrangements

If you suddenly became ill what would happen?


What support could be called upon in an emergency?


Would you know who to contact in an emergency?


Would making an emergency  plan “just in case” help?


Access to information and advocacy

Are you aware of what organisations are out there who can offer you support?


Are there sources of support or advocacy locally that you could access?

What do you want the outcomes of the Carer's Assessment to be?

In relation to your health and well-being, quality of life, your caring role?

Are direct payments appropriate for you rather than a service?


What would the difficulties be of obtaining these outcomes?



The carer's assessment will determine

·        Whether you are eligible for support as a carer

·        What services would be helpful to you.

·        Your support needs to maintain your health and well-being.

·        If a carers direct payment would be of benefit


Having an assessment at the same time as the person you care for

A carer's assessment will often take place when the person you care for is being assessed or re-assessed. Your assessment could take place at the same time, if you both agree that this is what is wanted


Having a separate assessment

A separate carer's assessment would mean that you have time alone with the assessor. It could be an ideal time to discuss difficult issues for example if someone has mood swings, or behaviours that you find difficult to cope with or embarrassing or confidential information you do not wish to be shared with the person you care for.  This information will be kept confidential, and not shared with the person you care for without your consent.


What if the person I care for refuses to have an assessment?


If the person you care for refuses to have an assessment of their needs, you still have the right to your own carer’s assessment


What happens after the carer's assessment?

The assessor will write the care plan.  If you and the person you care for had an assessment at the same time, your part of the assessment will appear on the care plan of the person you care for.

Where you had issues that you wanted to discuss confidentially you will receive a separate care plan.

The plan will contain a clear statement of services and support intended for you and the person you care for. This will be an important source of reference when implementing and reviewing your plan. 



We are constantly looking to improve our information.  It helps if you let us know whether the information in this fact sheet was/was not useful and if there are other fact sheets that you would have found helpful that we have not yet provided.



While the information contained in these fact sheets is believed to be correct DISC does not accept liability for any error/s it may contain.