On 15th November 2022, Jayne Ayris, Carers Champion and Social Worker at Richmond & Wandsworth Adult Social Care ran a hybrid (face-to-face and online Zoom) workshop at Richmond Carers Centre. This workshop focused on the Carer’s Assessment and the Carers’ Emergency Card. It provided an overview of their purpose, the process of getting them, and how they can benefit carers.
Any carer over 18 years old who is looking after another adult who is disabled, ill or elderly is eligible to recieve a carer’s assessment. It is an opportunity to have a conversation with a social worker about the impact your caring role has on your life. A carer’s assessment helps the Local Authority to identify what support or services you need so it can inform you of what is available to help you in your local borough. The assessment will look at different aspects of your caring role, what impact it has on you and whether you are able and willing to carry on caring.
As a carer, you are entitled to an assessment regardless of the amount or type of care you provide, your financial means or your level of need for support. You do not necessarily have to live with the person you are looking after nor do you have to be caring full-time to have an assessment. You may be juggling work with your carring role so it is important you discuss what support you may need so that the Local Authority can help you to manage that.
You are entitled to an independent carer’s assessment even if the person you are looking after has not had their needs assessed or if the local authority has decided that they are not eligible for support.
How to apply for a carer’s assessment
Any carer can self-refer by contacting Richmond Council’s Adult Social Care team.
The quickest and easiest way to receive an assessment is to complete it yourself. You can fill in an online carer’s assessment here. If you do not understand a question or are concerned that the form does not address your needs, you should contact Richmond’s Adult Social Care team for support.
The benefits of having a carer’s assessment
It is beneficial to have the Carers Assessment as it is about you as a carer; what are you doing for the person you care for and the impact this has on your wellbeing. It is a conversation to establish how you can be supported in your role to benefit you. These benefits include:
- Information and advice for all carers – available from the local authority website, information from local carers organisations and national organisations such as Carers UK
- Signposting, information and advice
- Carer’s Emergency Card
- Help with building a contingency plan
- Identifying any needs to help carers in their caring role via direct payments
- Homecare technology offer
- Carer’s Allowance and other benefits subject to eligibility
Carers’ Emergency Card
What is the Carers’ Emergency Card?
If you look after someone who cannot look after themselves without your support, you may be worried about what would happen if you were suddenly unable to help them?
The Carers’ Emergency Card scheme provides peace of mind that in the event of an emergency, the person you care for will receive help and support while you are not there.
The benefits of having a Carers’ Emergency Card
It is free to register for the scheme.
The scheme helps you develop a plan for what might happen if you had an emergency and were unable to carry out your normal caring responsibilities.
The Carer’s Emergency Card is recognised by local health and emergency services and ensures that a contingency plan will be activated if you are unable to contact a friend or family member.
The scheme gives the carer access to an emergency helpline 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The card is also recognised by some local services and businesses and it may give the carer access to local discounts such as:
- You may qualify for a Council Tax discount if you live with the person you care for
- Many visitor attractions and leisure facilities will offer carers free entry if you are supporting the person you care for
- If you or the person you care for are disabled, you may be able to get free or discounted vehicle tax and other financial help with your vehicle or transport
- You can get a Concessionary Richmond Leisure card as a carer
- You can get more exclusive deals from local and independent businesses with a Richmond Card
- You may be eligible for a Carer Parking Permit
- You can access exclusive offers, benefits and discounts from Carers Trust’s CarerSmart website
- You can find more discounts online at Discounts for Carers, a national website for unpaid and paid carers
How it works
You will be given a card such as the one in the image above. It has a 24-hour contact telephone number and your own ID number, which will link to your plan of care for the person you look after. In the event of an emergency or something happening that prevents you continuing to care for your loved one or friend, the service will make the arrangements detailed on your emergency plan.
You should try to have your card with you at all times but it is also a good idea to save the number on your mobile phone under ICE (in case of emergency). If you are unable to make the call to action your plan, someone coming to your aid will be able to do it for you.
How to apply for a Carers’ Emergency Card