For Families and Carers : Assessments – case studies

Older family

Sarah is 39 and lives with her parents Maria and George who are 80 and 82. Sarah’s parents have always supported Sarah with her day-to-day life but now they are older they are finding it increasingly difficult to support her on their own.

Sarah needs support with maintaining her personal hygiene, keeping her living space clean and with preparing meals. Sarah also needs support to meet with friends in the local community and attend recreational activities (for example swimming) and access necessary facilities (for example health services) in the community.

George likes to go to go the bowls club to see his friends once a week but is not currently able to go as he and Maria feel they both need to be there to support Sarah as they do not feel able to support her on their own. Maria also likes to attend a book club once a week but, for the same reason, is currently unable to do this.

Sarah and her parents agree she should continue to live with them but also feel they need help to ensure Sarah is well cared for. They also feel they all need to be able to attend activities in the community.

Following receipt of a written request for a Carer’s Assessment the local authority began to assess Maria and George’s needs as Carers. As part of the assessment process Sarah and her parents had an opportunity to provide the local authority with information about their situation and Maria and George’s needs as carers. The family’s GP also wrote to the local authority to inform them about Maria and George’s needs as carers. The local authority then assessed this information against the national eligibility criteria to determine whether Maria and George have eligible needs as carers.

The local authority determined Maria and George have ‘eligible needs’ as they are providing necessary care to Sarah which is preventing them from ‘maintaining a habitable home environment’ and attending ‘recreational activities’ themselves which is resulting in a negative effect on their health and wellbeing which is at risk of deteriorating.

The local authority decided Sarah needed to have her own assessment as well because the support the Maria and George need to continue in their caring role will involve care and support being provided directly to Sarah. This is known as a Needs Assessment.

The local authority contacted Sarah’s GP to ask her to provide information about Sarah’s own needs. The local authority then assessed this information, and that

provided to them from Sarah and her parents, against the national eligibility criteria to determine what Sarah’s eligible needs are.

The local authority determined Sarah also has ‘eligible needs’ as she is unable to; maintain her personal hygiene, keep her living space clean, prepare meals, maintain friendships, access the local community or attend recreational activities without support. The local authority recognised that Sarah would be at risk if she was not provided support to meet her needs and that her health and wellbeing would be adversely affected.

Following these assessments the local authority worked with Sarah, Maria and George to put together a Carer’s Support Plan to address Maria and George’s eligible needs as carers and a Care and Support Plan to address Sarah’s own care and support needs.

Sarah’s Care and Support Plan specifies that Sarah will receive domiciliary care for an hour each morning to support her with her personal hygiene and two days a week will have a support worker to facilitate meeting with friends and attending activities and ‘necessary facilities in the community’ – this will enable her parents to maintain a habitable home and attend their own recreational activities. Maria and Georges Carer’s Support Plan states that Maria will be provided with membership to the book club and George will receive membership to the bowls club.

Maria and George’s needs as carers are being addressed through the provision of support and services provided through both Sarah’s Care and Support Plan (Needs Assessment) and their own Carer’s Support Plan (Carer’s Assessment). These two processes were required because services provided directly to Sarah must be arrived at through her own assessment whereas support for Maria and George as carers must come through their own Carer’s Assessment.

Maria and George may also be entitled to individual Needs Assessments themselves regarding their own needs, which they would need to ask the local authority to undertake.

For more information about preparing for the future please see our article Supporting Older Families.

Young adult

Andy who is 25 years old currently lives with his older brother Simon. Simon provides support for Andy but has been finding it harder to cope recently as Andy’s needs have changed. The increase in Andy’s support needs have meant Simon is struggling to juggle work and social commitments with supporting Andy and maintaining a home for the two of them. This is having a negative impact on Simon’s wellbeing. Simon has been to his GP to discuss how stressful the situation is becoming and the GP has encouraged Simon to contact the local authority to request a Carer’s Assessment.

Following receipt of Simon’s written request for a Carer’s Assessment the local authority began to assess Simon’s needs as a Carer. As part of the assessment process Simon and Andy had an opportunity to provide the local authority with information about their situation and Simon’s needs as a carer. Simon’s GP also wrote to the local authority to inform them about Simon’s needs as a carer. The local authority then assessed this information against the national eligibility criteria to determine whether Simon has eligible needs as a carer.

The local authority identified that Simon has ‘eligible needs’ as he is providing necessary care to Andy and needs to be able to work and have time to access leisure activities and an inability to do this is having a negative impact on Simon’s wellbeing. The assessment has also identified that Simon is unable to maintain a habitable home for the two of them without putting Andy’s safety at risk. Following the assessment the local authority worked with Simon to put together a Carer’s Support Plan that would address the identified needs. The Support Plan specifies Simon and Andy will have a cleaner for two hours twice a week who will maintain the hygiene levels of their home and will do their laundry.

The Carer’s Assessment also highlighted that Andy should have a Needs Assessment in his own right. Andy’s Needs Assessment identified Andy has eligible needs for care and support. Following Andy’s Needs Assessment a Care and Support Plan was put together that detailed the direct support Andy will have. Through this Andy will have a support worker for 20 hours a week who will step in while Simon is at work so that Andy is able to access the community with support.

The local authority undertook a financial assessment which in Simon and Andy’s circumstances indicated the local authority would have to pay the cost of meeting the needs identified through both the Carer’s Assessment and Andy’s Needs Assessment.

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