Friday, 7 March 2014

Carer's assessment

Carer's assessment courtesy of carers-supportcdt.org.uk
When Mum first came to the attention of the Adult Social Care services in Lincolnshire following her diagnosis last August, I was contacted by the Carers' Team asking me if I would like a Carer's Assessment.  At the time, I was about to move to Russia to start a new job and didn't really see myself as a carer.  However, it was explained to me that, seeing as I had power of attorney for Mum and was looking after all of her financial affairs, I was indeed a carer, even if it was from a distance.  On that basis, I accepted the offer of an assessment and was told there was a waiting list and someone would be in touch with me in a few weeks.

By the time I was contacted again, my situation had changed and my husband and I had made the move back to the UK to be with Mum.  I was now really a carer, even though, at that early stage, the full ramifications of the role hadn't fully struck me.

My carer's assessment was done over the course of two phone calls and took about two hours in total.  During the process, I came to understand more completely just what I had taken on.  Through the questions I was asked, I was made to reflect on the effect caring for my Mum was having, or could potentially have, on me.  It was an eye-opening experience and I really appreciated the opportunity I was being given.  It made me consider things that hadn't crossed my mind before and gave me a sense of worth at the valuable role I was undertaking.  At the end of the assessment, I was more aware of what help could be available for me.  I was also given a financial award - a one-off payment of £203 to be used for leisure purposes - hobby courses, swimming sessions, etc.  I had no idea that such a fund was available.  It's not a huge amount of money, but, again, it helps to give the carer a sense that what they're doing is noted and valued.

I would urge any carer in the UK to ask if a carer's assessment is available in their area and, if it is, to have one and to accept any help they're offered!

You can find more information here.

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