Carer's Assessment: are they useful?


Registered User
Jun 20, 2003
It is very interesting reading other people stories and everyone seems to have had a different experience.

My mother was diagnosed a year ago with AD and is taking Aricept which seems to have made a positive difference. I have recently requested a Carer's Assessment from the Social Services. . I have been advised to do this so that we are 'on the books' and that when the time comes we can get help more easily. My mother lives alone

At the moment Mum is still fairly independent but I fear she is starting to get more confused recently. She point blank refuses to speak to Social Services and says she wants no contact and can manage. All the help I give her is practical ie with finances, remembering who is visiting her, etc but she is still able to wash, dress, cook etc etc.

I feel as if Social Services won't offer any help at this stage, but am very worried for the future as I am the only relative leaving nearby. I don't want to leave things too late and have two children under five to care for so my capacity for caring for her myself will be very limited. Is it worth going for the assessment or waiting until later when/if she can be assessed herself?

Jenny M

Registered User
Sep 15, 2003
Dear Roz,
I can't offer any advice based on experience because events took a different turn for my Mum and me. Like your Mum, my Mum lived alone. Fortunately, she had recently moved very nearby, so I could look after her when her condition started on a path of rapid decline. Unfortunately, as the only family member living near her, virtually all of the demands fell on me. Like you, I have two young children, and I work as well, so it was extremely difficult trying to meet the needs of everyone. While waiting for an assessment for her, she was admitted to hospital and from there, she went straight into residential care, so I never got to the stage of having my needs assessed. It does sound as though it might be a good idea to arrange an assessment of your Mum now - it occurs to me that it might not even be possible to have your needs assessed unless an assessment has already been carried out on your Mum. Perhaps someone else with more experience of these assessments can comment on this. I found that during the few discussions that I had with our local social services team, they were very helpful and sympathetic. It might be worth discussing your Mum's case with them, at this stage. I hope that both you and your Mum get all the help that you will need.
Best wishes


Registered User
May 28, 2003
Hello Roz
I have to tell you that I too have asked, and been asked the same question.
But in my experience it is useful to have the Carers Assessment completed as soon as. Obviously, if there is then any change in circumstances, you must inform S/S so that they are able to update their records.
Unfortunately, the assessment does show alot of unmet need, but by having these details, the officers will be able to produce this evidence at future planning meetings, and maybe, one day, have the funds to be able to provide paid workers to do the 'mundane' but imperative tasks that we carers find ourselves HAVING to do.
Each Local Authority has devised their own Assessment Form, in my area, it takes about one and a half hours to complete, but is a useful tool to address ALL aspects of the caring role.
Good luck


Registered User
Oct 17, 2003

Yes do get a Carer's Assessment I found it most useful if only to have the chance to sit and talk with the Occupational Therapist who came out to discuss things with me- rather like a councelling session. Be as honest as possible, all the details, if you are finding things difficult let them know. Then if anything happens to you, illness maybe and emergency respite care is needed they have all the details on file. If you are worried about the future let them know as well, if you think care may be needed in the future but not yet, they have it on file and you can start to plan ahead. What I found most useful was that I got vouchers for care in the home that I could "spend" with local agencies. Before Mum moved into a home this meant I could have 6 hours a wek from a carer from our Local crossraods as well as a couple of nights a month from a night carer to let me have a good nights sleep.

Hope this helps



Registered User
Nov 30, 2003
carer's assessment

I haven't posted for a while but the carer's assessment rang a bell as I've just had one. Things between us were becoming very tense due to his frontal lobe dementia causing him to misunderstand what I was saying and to overreact. We were both almost at strangling point when the CPN arranged an assessment as I wasn't coping very well. The social worker has helped to fill in updated Disability living allowance forms as she thinks he should be on the middle level for personal care. She has arranged for him to pop into the local respite ward to look round in case the same situation occurs again(quite likely I should think!) and to try it out for a day or two so we can both have a respite if needed. They are also looking into an extra carer similar to the community care we already have 1 afternoon a week although this will be a paid carer. I feel happier that I'm on the local books now so that any future updating should be quicker. I'm off to the USA for R&R in September and the social worker is helping to put a contingency plan into action in case all the plans made with the family can't cope if there is a sudden crisis. From a personal point of view I think the sooner you have an assessment, the better.