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Assessment of needs

If you are looking into any sort of care at home, you should be offered an assessment of your needs.

This means that a social worker (or sometimes an occupational therapist or nurse) will come to your home and ask you questions about what you find difficult on a daily basis.

This assessment will be used to work out what your levels of need are and what support can be provided.

A needs assessment must always lead to the production of an agreed care and support plan. You should be provided with a copy of this plan.

Your local Age UK can help you prepare for your assessment of needs

What you need to know

  • The assessment should take as much time as necessary to understand what sort of help you might need
  • It should also cover how you'd like to live your life and your aims you want to achieve
  • Don't pretend to do more than you can. The assessment works best if you're honest about the difficulties you have, not what you can do
  • The assessment will look at practical things that can be done quickly to make life easier, such as grabrails/handrails or simple daily living aids, but also examine your longer-term needs.
  • If you have a carer or relative who spends a lot of time with you, it might help to have them there during the assessment.

Contact your local authority

Get in touch with your local council

What happens then?

The local authority will decide if your needs are severe enough to qualify for support.

It will also assess your ability to pay for social care - this is based on your income and any assets you may have.

Your next steps

Get details about what qualifies you to receive local council support and how they assess your finances.

Further information


Our Information guides are short and easy to digest, giving a comprehensive overview of the relevant topic. Factsheets are longer with more detail, and are aimed at professionals.

You can download other guides in our series from publications

For more information: Call Age UK Advice: 0800 678 1174

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