If you have care and support needs and find it difficult to look after yourself, your local authority may be able to advise you and provide you with some help. The best way to get help from your local authority is to ask for a care and support needs assessment. You can do this by contacting the local authority adult social services department.
When you get assessed by your local authority, as a minimum you may be given information and signposting to other services, and ways that you might find funding to pay for them. However, if your needs meet the national eligibility criteria, your local authority will have to meet these needs.
Your local authority will involve you throughout the assessment to identify what your needs are and how these impact on your wellbeing. They will also discuss with you how you wish to live your life and whether there are certain aims you would like to achieve but you are unable to do so because of your care and support needs.
The assessment will start to consider how your care needs might be met. This could include identifying how preventative services like simple aids (such as devices to open jars and tins more easily), adaptations to your home (such as handrails) or information about support available in the community might meet your need. It will also identify if you have a higher level of need where you may need help in your own home or care in a care home.
The assessment should be carried out in a way that ensures your involvement and that takes the right amount of time to capture all of your needs.
If you have a friend or family member looking after you as an unpaid carer, they can have a carer’s assessment to see if they need support to carry on their caring role.
The local authority must give you a copy of your needs assessment or carer’s assessment.