Carers may be entitled to receive additional help and support for their own needs from the Local Authority. The carers’ assessment is carried out by Southend-on-Sea Borough Council, Adult Social Care Access Team to try and establish the needs of an individual who requires help from social care services and to arrange services to meet their needs.
Giving unpaid care and support to someone with an illness or disability is a challenge but it can also be a fulfilling experience so long as you realistically consider your own health and wellbeing and receive the support you need.
Whether you are a child or an adult, caring for someone on you own or sharing care with other family members/friends and whether you are living with the person you care for or care from a distance, you are entitled to a Carers Assessment. Everyone’s situation is unique and a Carers Assessment gives you the opportunity to consider your caring role with someone from the social care team to look at the impact the care you provide is having on other aspects of your life and to take control of the situation. A support plan may be put in place following a Carers Assessment which could for example help you to keep active, have time for family and friends, relieve stress and help you stay in work alongside caring if that is what you hope to achieve, or to maybe learn a new skill while you are staying a home full time.
As a result of a Carers Assessment you could be awarded a carers budget; an amount of money to help support you while you are providing necessary care. A Carers Assessment does not include a financial assessment. Sadly Carers Allowance did not go up in the 2016 budget so still remains at £62.10 per week.
How to get a Carers Assessment
You are entitled to a Carers Assessment even if the person you care for does not receive social care. To properly assess your situation the Council will need to know some details of the person you care for to understand the level of care you are providing. To have your Carers Assessment provided by Southend Borough Council, the person you care for must live within the borough of Southend on Sea even if you do not live in the borough yourself. Southend Carers can make a referral for you to access a carers assessment or you can refer yourself by phone or email. The contact details are as follows:-
Telephone Southend Borough Council on 01702 215008 (option 1)
You will need to give the name, address and date of birth of the person you care for so your details can be matched up. If Southend Borough do not currently have information on the person you care for you will need to fill our social care assessment information for the person you care for so that the access team understand that level of care you are providing. If you, the carer and the person you care for both want an assessment you can have them take place together or separately. Either way, you should have an opportunity to talk to the Social Worker on your own.
Preparing for a Carers Assessment
It is a good idea to think about how your caring role impacts on your life; your physical and mental health but also impacts on your relationships with friends and members of your family. This can include thinking about whether you are becoming isolated and/or feeling that your confidence has taken a knock. Consider also whether your caring role gives you concern about working or taking part in training, education or volunteering. The assessment will aim to understand what is important to you, encourage you to recognise your own strengths and skills and explore opportunities available to you in the community.
On a good day when everything is running smoothly you may not remember how you are affected on a more difficult day. In winter, you may not think about situations which happen mainly in the summer such as going to outdoor activities and vice versa. It is a good idea to keep a journal for a couple of weeks so you can remember and take a more considered view of what support you could benefit from. It might be helpful to talk things through with family, friends and/or other carers as they may be able to suggest some useful support you would benefit from which you hadn’t thought of or was even unaware existed.
You may find that if you keep a journal for a week or two it will help you take a note of things to mention at your Carers Assessment.
The Carers Assessment
A Social Worker from Southend Borough Council will arrange a time to visit you and discuss the impact your caring role is having on you. The areas covered are:-
- your physical health
- your mental health
- taking time out
- finances i.e do you want advice on benefits
The Social Worker will also discuss with you whether you want to continue to be a carer. Ask for an opportunity to speak to the Social Worker on your own even if you are having a joint assessment with the person you care for.
You may not be a superhero but take up the support available and you can achieve great things.
We have a dedicated Outreach Worker who can refer to Southend Borough Council for a Carers Assessment if this is appropriate. If you need more information about this service feel free to give us a call on 01702 393933.
Carers Emergency Respite Scheme (CERS)
Southend-on-Sea Borough Council’s Carers Emergency Respite Scheme has been set up to help Carers plan for situations when an unexpected or sudden situation arises where the carer is unable to continue with their caring role. This could be for example:-
- if a carer is taken ill or has to go into hospital unexpectedly and is unable to continue with their caring role
- if a carer is caught up in traffic or has an accident
- if another family member suddenly has an accident/illness and the carer needs to travel to be with them
These are just some examples of when the Carers Emergency Respite Scheme can be used.
Who can use the Scheme?
Anyone who provides care on a regular basis to an adult or older person and who lives in the Southend Borough can use this service. The person you care for will receive support to manage at home. There is no charge to use the service. The Respite Scheme is free of charge and can offer up to 48 hours (72 hours on a Bank Holiday) of free care.
How does it work?
The carer should contact Ashley Care who will send out a registration form which Carers will need to complete. Their telephone number is 01702 348142, www.ashleycare.com. This form can help carers identify what help they might need in an emergency and what help friends or family can offer so they can be contacted. If friends and family are not able to offer any care, or there aren’t any friends or family around, Southend on Sea Borough Council has commissioned Ashley Care to provide a “short notice back up” service for carers to call on if they need to. The support on hand will vary from practical hands on support to telephone support and advice or drop in visits as appropriate for every individual.
Once you have registered you will be sent a Welcome Pack which will include an emergency card that carers can keep safe in their purse/wallets etc. You will also be sent a copy of your records and be invited to reassess the situation every year to ensure that your cared for details are current and accurate.
There is more information on this scheme on the link below.
We are always here to offer support so please do give us a call on 01702 393933 if you need further advice or information about these services.