There are 1.4 million older people in the UK living with an unmet care need and over 1.5 million older people in England cannot leave their home without help. Independent Age, the older people’s charity, is encouraging all older people with care needs to request a care needs assessment to ensure they are getting all the help they can.
To make this easier, the charity has launched a new, free online guide explaining the care needs assessment process. The guide takes people through the process of having a care needs assessment step by step. It provides practical information on how to get an assessment, how the assessment works, what to expect during the assessment and what to do to prepare. It also includes videos and downloadable, printable checklists.
The guide was developed following research in which older people and their families expressed that they were intimidated by information provided by the council and official government bodies, and often didn’t get enough information. They also told Independent Age that they were uncomfortable about having a stranger in their house asking personal questions, uncertain about what to expect from the assessment and unsure about where to find out more about their assessment. The charity hopes that the new online guide will help reassure people and clarify what to do.
Lucy Harmer, Director of Services at Independent Age, says, “It’s really important to make sure you get a care needs assessment if you need more support. Our guide will help you through the process and provide information on how to prepare for the assessment. You can and should prepare as you’re likely to have a better outcome if you do. It’s not as scary as you might think and it really can make a difference to your quality of life, and that of your carer.”
Launching during Carers Week, the guide could help to take pressure off carers by giving the people they care for more support if they are provided with additional care.
The Getting help in your day-to-day life online guide is free to access at independentage.org/care-needs-assessment-step-by-step-guide. Those who need additional support through the process can arrange to speak to an Independent Age expert adviser by calling the free Helpline on 0800 319 6789.
 1.4m older people don’t get the social care they need, Age UK, July 2018
 Health Survey for England, 2016, NHS Digital , December 2017 (Table 1, cells D52 and E52 (13% of 11.9 million 65+ population)