Making the most of Carer Assessments
Our community of carers share their experiences of Carers Assessments and offer top tips on how to make the most of them.
Carers Assessments are a conversation or series of conversations which focus on you and your caring role. It explores your individual caring situation, how caring impacts you and whether there is any support you need to help you continue to care going forward. However, every carer’s experience of a Carers Assessment is entirely different - for some, it is completed through a form or document and for others, it can seem like an informal conversation. It can also be completed with a whole range of services depending on where you live including the local authority, a local carer organisation, GP or support service. With so many different ways to complete a Carers Assessment, it is unsurprising that many of us have had one, and hadn’t realised.
"I actually think I have had one, listening to this, I think I have"
- one member of our community during a Mobilise Cuppa
Here are our Carers top tips on getting the best out of your Carers assessment:
Do it before you need it
Having a Carers Assessment already in place is incredibly helpful if and when a situation arises. Our Carers tell us that when they ask for support, it can often be easier to update the document and tell people about the changes in their circumstances rather than tell the whole situation to someone new. It also reassures the Carer that they haven’t missed anything because it has been spoken about and written before that conversation.
It is also worth noting that if there is an emergency or situation which requires support, it may not be the most convenient time for a Carers Assessment. This could be because you do not have the time, there are other priorities or that the emotions of the situation are too raw to talk about.
"I thought to myself, if I wait until I really need this, I am not going to have time to go through the process"
Remember it’s a process
Whilst a Carers Assessment can bring Carers a wide range of support, it can take time to be implemented by the professionals involved. It can also be helpful to familiarise yourself with the language used because it may not be the same language that Carers use. Words like “assessment” can put some people off but knowing that it’s a conversation, helps to break the barriers to an effective plan.
Some of our Carers have found it helpful to write everything down and have notes ready so that they remember what they wanted to say or ask. It also helps to ensure that the Carers Assessment matches what you talked about.
3. Use this conversation to let others know about your thoughts and plans
During your Carers assessment, take a moment to talk about the routines and systems you have implemented, particularly those in place for if something should happen to you. The professional might ask if you have a ‘What If Plan’ or ‘Emergency Response Plan’ which would include things like your next of kin and the plan if you were unable to care (for any reason). It is an opportunity for you to inform them of how things are to be done if you are unable to do it.
Talk about the worst possible day
A Carers Assessment aims to provide an overview of the whole range of support that you might need within your caring role. To help provide the full picture for this, our Carers recommend thinking about the worst possible day and all of the challenges it could present and discussing that during the assessment. This allows the professional to understand how each of the challenges could be addressed with support. Whilst it can be difficult to talk about the worst possible scenario, by dealing with it in this way, it ensures that there is support should the worst day ever happen.
Don’t be afraid to ask for a reassessment when things change
Life happens and things change so do not be afraid to ask for a reassessment. Many caring roles have changed as a result of Coronavirus and so as we head towards the new normal, many of us will be asking for a reassessment. It’s important to note the changes so that your plans and support remains up to date.