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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.

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
  • 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.

If you do qualify for local authority support, instead of getting services that are directly funded and arranged by your council, you can instead ask for cash payments.

This will allow you to arrange your own care and gives you greater choice and control over how your needs are met.

You may also be entitled to equipment and adaptations to help make your home more suitable to meet your needs.

Contact your local authority to arrange an assessment

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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