How we assess home care needs

Written by Ranger Home Care
19 April 2024

If you or a loved one needs care at home, a needs assessment can be carried out by a care professional. They will visit you in your home and guide you through the services available to help you with your specific lifestyle needs and healthcare conditions.

The thought of being assessed can be unsettling. But it’s important to remember that it will help you get the right support and give you access to the appropriate services. Tailored to your needs, it’s the first step to keep you independent in your own home.

This article will look at how care professionals assess home care needs and help you to understand each element in more detail.  

What are the reasons for an assessment?

Care assessments aren’t just about establishing physical and medical needs, although these things are obviously vital. They also help care providers understand the emotional and social needs of an individual who requires home care while wanting to keep their independence.

The types of situations requiring assessment include:

  • A person’s condition after a fall, illness or hospital visit
  • Confusion and memory problems
  • The need for regular health monitoring for a serious condition
  • Natural aging that can lead to self-neglect

The initial consultation

Usually beginning with an initial consultation, you will speak to a care assessor either face-to-face or on the phone. You can have a family member or trusted friend present during this conversation, and the assessor will either be a care co-ordinator for a particular care provider, a social worker or other healthcare professional.

The main aim of this initial conversation is to gain a clear understanding of your current health, medical history and daily care needs. It’s important to be as honest as possible, so the care plan devised will be as helpful as it can be and cover everything needed.

The comprehensive assessment

Once an initial consultation is carried out, the assessment becomes more in-depth. The original information is fleshed out more to create a comprehensive care plan. This can involve nurses, social workers, occupational therapists, GPs and physiotherapists, depending on how complex your care needs are.

Areas that will be assessed include:

Physical health

Mobility is a huge part of the assessment as care professionals will want to make sure that the necessary assistive devices are made available.

For example:

  • Frames
  • Rollators
  • Wheelchairs
  • Mobility scooters
  • Stair lifts
  • Grab rails
  • Bath boards

Each of these things (and some others) can be made available by social workers or occupational therapy to make sure you are safe at home and help you get around easier.

If you have wounds such as pressure sores, surgical wounds or ulcers, it’s important to tell the assessor so they can add wound care to your new care plan.  

You can also be assessed as to whether you need physiotherapy or occupational therapy. People who are recovering from surgery or a hospital stay, have chronic illnesses or are physically frail could benefit from both of these additional therapies.  

Cognitive function

If someone is suffering from dementia, Alzheimer’s or other mental health conditions, they may lose their ability to look after themselves. The confusion and frustration that comes with these conditions can lead to self-neglect. If you have confusion or memory loss that’s affecting your everyday life, the assessment should be carried out with this in mind. This will enable you to get whatever help you need to stay healthy, hygienic and safe.

Emotional and social needs

Some people find it hard to have carers in their home and feel they are losing their independence. An assessor will be sensitive to this and ask how you’re feeling about your health – both physically and emotionally.

Ageing and becoming vulnerable can cause a risk of depression, especially if individuals lose their social connections. It’s essential that your care plan includes and develops any support networks that can help you be happy and content.

Home safety

The assessor will examine your living environment to identify potential hazards and make note of any adjustments that can be made to ensure safety. This includes checking for trip hazards, how accessible bathrooms are and if your living room is secure enough for your safety.  

Daily living activities

Your daily care needs will be discussed, so the assessor can identify what help you may need. They will ask about your hygiene habits such as bathing, dressing and toileting and need to know whether you have dietary needs and preferences. Whether you have an active social life or go out very rarely, they will note your schedule so they can offer help if needed.

Risk assessment

A good care plan will clearly highlight any potential risks. If you are at risk of falling, forgetting medication or likely to have a medical emergency – it’s vital that this information is recorded for the benefit of everyone involved in your care.

Risk assessments help to plan preventive measures like installing grab bars, setting up personal alarms or arranging regular check-ins by care providers.

The care plan

Once all the information is gathered, it will be developed into a care plan that helps healthcare professionals and family to give you the best care. It does this by outlining the specific services required, the frequency of care and any special instructions for caregivers. It also includes goals for your health and wellbeing, which could range from improving mobility to improving social interaction.

The care plan is a living document. This means that is constantly being reviewed and updated, changing when your needs develop and change.

Empathetic and comprehensive care

Assessing home care needs requires a holistic approach to address all aspects of an individual’s wellbeing. At Ranger Home Care, our experienced and knowledgeable team will carry out a tailored assessment, based on all aspects of your daily life and health.

We provide live-in carers 24/7, to help people stay safe and healthy in their own homes. Our comprehensive assessment ensures that all health needs – physical, cognitive, emotional and social – are understood and developed into an effective and personalised care plan. Have a look at what some of our clients say about us.

If you’d like to speak to a Ranger Home Care about the benefits of live-in care call us directly on 01252 850040 or email natalie@rangerhomecare.com.

Read some of our client stories

Steven’s story: Living with dementia

Steven’s story: Living with dementia

Steven’s a successful car dealer and entrepreneur developed dementia in his 60’s. This had a profound effect on his busy hectic life. His desire to remain at home and continue as much of his normal routine, including visiting the pub…

Ross’s story: Living with cerebral palsy

Ross’s story: Living with cerebral palsy

Living with cerebral palsy, Ross was unable to independently complete daily tasks before he had live-in care.

Live-in care enabled him to regain his independence without being limited by his physical constraints.

Evelyn’s story: Caring for someone with dementia

Evelyn’s story: Caring for someone with dementia

Living with dementia could have denied Evelyn of her many loves, but having a live in carer gives her the freedom to continue enjoying her interests, such as retaining her well-kept garden and staying with her dog.