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Care needs assessment

The first step to getting social care, whether you may need some home adaptations, home care or a care home place, is to get a care needs assessment from your local health trust.

How do I get a care need assessment?

Get in touch with your local health trust to ask for one. You need to contact the adult social services department.

Explain you need some help at home and ask for a care assessment (also known as a needs assessment).

Contact your local health trust

Your local health trust's social services department will carry out a free assessment of your care needs

Am I eligible for a care needs assessment?

There’s no charge for a care assessment and you’re entitled to one regardless of your income and savings, and regardless of what your needs are.

If you care for someone you are also entitled to a carer’s assessment.

How do I arrange an assessment for my relative or friend?

If you’re worried about someone and think that a care needs assessment might be useful, you can ask the local authority, but the person has to agree to have one (unless they don’t have the capacity to make or communicate that decision themselves).

If you’re a carer, you are entitled to have a carer’s assessment too.

What does the care needs assessment involve?

You will be assessed either by a social worker (often called a care manager) or an occupational therapist (OT), depending on the level of your needs. The person who assesses you should look at the following things in the assessment:

  • The emotional and social side of your life.
  • Your skills and abilities .
  • Your views, religious and cultural background and support network.
  • Any physical difficulties you may experience, or any risks.
  • Any health or housing requirements.
  • Your needs and wishes.
  • What you would like to happen.
  • If you have a carer, what their needs and opinions are.

The assessor may contact other health and social care professionals who need to be involved in your assessment and care. 

Age NI Advice Service

Every year our Advice Service deals with thousands of calls from older people in need. Call us today to make sure that you are receiving all the help and support available to you.

Call freephone 0808 808 7575
Monday - Friday 9am – 5pm 


Last updated: May 05 2020

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