1 How to prepare for the needs assessment

Preparation is key as the needs assessment is a chance for your relative to have their say and get their point of view across.

All the different aspects of a person’s life should be looked at during the needs assessment, including any emotional, psychological or physical care needs. The social worker is supposed to cover all key issues, but if they forget to ask about something important, and your relative doesn’t bring it up, it won’t be included.

It is vital that your relative gives as much detail as they can so that the care plan and outcomes match their needs as closely as possible.

Remember that the person doing the assessment can only make notes about ‘presenting needs’ – those that are mentioned during the needs assessment itself. Older people needing care often downplay their real level of need; it is important that you encourage your relative not to do this because it can affect the level of care they are entitled to.

The person carrying out the needs assessment will be looking for answers to certain questions. See our checklists by clicking on the next step to make sure you are fully prepared. To find local authority services for older people in your relative's area, use the third tab in our Care services directory