A good way to start to arrange more help either at home or in a residential home is by requesting a Care Needs Assessment in Dorset.
Whether care will be funded by the council or independently, a care assessment will identify the help that is needed – from alterations to the home, additional help during the day or night, or moving to residential care. The assessment will also identify the needs of carers. We have useful guidance and links for preparing for an assessment here.
Who is eligible for help?
Local authorities are not able to support everyone. They use guidelines set out in the Care Act 2014 to decide who is eligible for help.
Usually these three questions are used to work out whether someone is eligible for care and support from the council:
- Do your needs arise from an illness, a physical disability including frailty, or a mental illness?
- Do these needs mean you are unable to achieve two or more of the tasks or ‘outcomes’ below?
- As a result of this, is there likely to be a significant impact on your wellbeing?
You must meet all three of the criteria stated above to be eligible.
When considering eligibility for care and support services, the assessment looks at ‘outcomes’. This means it looks at the impact of any physical or mental impairment on daily life. This is measured by checking if you are unable to achieve two or more of the following tasks:
- eating and drinking properly
- having good personal hygiene
- managing toilet needs
- being appropriately dressed
- being safe at home
- keeping your home clean and tidy
- having personal relationships
- taking part in work, training, education or volunteering
- using services in the local community like public transport
What happens at the assessment?
If someone meets all the criteria and is unable to achieve the tasks above, the next stage would be to complete a supported assessment.
A supported assessment gives them the chance to tell the assessors about any difficulties they may be having, and what help they think they need.
The assessment is carried out at home by a social care worker or occupational therapist.
To find out more they will ask things such as:
- how you look after yourself
- what is working well for you
- what you would like to change
- the kind of support you have now
- your physical and emotional health
- being part of the community
- whether or not you have a carer
- what you have difficulty doing
- what help you need
As part of the assessment they will ask you about anyone who provides care and support. This could be a partner, family, friends or even neighbours. They may attend the assessment, so that they can offer their ideas and opinions about care and support.
To arrange a Care Needs Assessment in Dorset
What to do if you are not happy with the outcome of the assessment
Just because the assessment is carried out by a health or social care expert, with help perhaps from your GP, you don’t have to stick by their decision.
For example if you have an illness or a disability, they might have assessed you on a ‘good’ day.
If you disagree with a decision not to provide support, or you don’t think the care package being offered is enough to meet your needs, you can challenge it. There is useful advice here from the Money Advice Service on how to go about challenging the decision.
Dorset Council has a Finding Help section on its website if someone is judged ineligible for help from their local authority.
Have you or a loved one experienced getting a care needs assessment? Share your experience on our friendly forum.
Just starting out on the journey of finding out the care options in Dorset? We have a useful introduction to elderly care services here.
Find out more about Funding Elderly Care in Dorset.