Needs Assessments

Financial Support

Planning Ahead

Safeguarding Adults

Local Services

What is a Needs Assessment?

Anyone that appears to have needs can request an assessment from the local authority. A request for an assessment can come from you directly, your carer, GP or any another person concerned.  Even where there is a family carer providing care we would strongly recommend you request an assessment as there may be additional support available to you.  A request can be made online at:

Brent Council – Can I get support?  Or by letter to the local authority or by phone on 020 8937 4300.

The local authority can also carry out a carers assessment to ensure the family carers needs are also being met, however in this section we will explain the process for a needs assessment only. Read about carers assessment.

The local authority needs assessment will look at whether you have care and support needs and whether you have difficulty doing 2 of the following:

  • Managing and maintaining nutrition
  • Maintaining personal hygiene
  • Managing toilet needs
  • Being appropriately clothed
  • Being able to make use of the home safely
  • Maintaining a habitable home environment
  • Developing and maintaining family or other personal relationships
  • Accessing and engaging in work, training, education or volunteering
  • Making use of necessary facilities or services in the local community including public transport and recreational facilities or services
  • Carrying out any caring responsibilities you have for a child
What is the process for getting an assessment?
(Diagram courtesy of

If after the initial assessment it is clear you do not have support needs you will be referred for information and advice. This decision should be sent to you in writing.

However, if support needs are identified you will be referred for a full assessment, which may take place on the phone or face to face.  The full assessment will consider:

  • your needs and how that impacts on your ability to manage
  • the things that matter to you, for instance, help with getting dressed or support to get to social activities
  • your choices and goals, for example if you want to take up a new activity or maintain relationships, and preferences for your day to day life
  • the types of services, information, advice, facilities and resources which will prevent or delay further needs from developing, helping you stay well for longer (for example, the local council may offer you a period of reablement to reduce needs and regain skills, before completing the assessment)
  • the needs of your family/carer

After the full assessment, if support needs are identified the local authority will have to decide if they should put any support in place.  To do this they will consider:

  1. Do you have care and support needs as a result of a physical or mental condition?
  2. Due to care and support needs are you unable to achieve or meet two or more desired goals or outcomes?
  3. Is there, or is there likely to be a significant impact on your wellbeing?

If the answer to these questions is yes, then the local authority is likely to put support in place.  However, remember that services provided by the local authority are chargeable and there will need to be a financial assessment to see if you should contribute or pay for the support. We will explain further the financial assessment here .

The local authority will draw up a care support plan outlining the care to be provided. This should include details of the needs identified and how the local authority is going to meet those needs.  It will also include details of the personal budget (this is what the local authority think it will cost to provide the support outlined in the care plan).  Some examples of support that may be put into place are:

  • care in the home (such as help with washing/dressing)
  • respite or a stay in a residential home
  • day centre provision
  • equipment such as a hoist
  • adaptions to your home

If you would like support with requesting a needs assessment or with challenging a decision about care please   contact us for further info .

The financial assessment:

When carrying out an assessment the local authority will look into your income and capital to see if you should be paying for or contributing towards your care.  To do this, they will ask about your savings and income.

Capital/Savings:  The current capital limit is £23,250 which means that if you have personal savings of more than this you will pay for your care in full.  The lower capital limit is £14,250 and any savings below this will be ignored in the calculation.

If you have savings between £14,250 and £23,250 a calculation will be completed to see how much you should contribute to your care.  For every £250 above the lower threshold £1 will be taken into account as income.

Example: Jean lives with her husband and they have joint savings of £35,000.  She has an assessment and needs care in the home.  The local authority calculate that her savings are 50% of the joint savings at £17,500.  This figure is then used as her savings in the calculation.  The lower limit is £14,250  and Jean has savings of £3,250 over the lower threshold.  The local authority will then calculate the tariff income £3,250 / £250 = £13 per week of assumed income.

The calculation for residential care can sometimes include the value of your home, but the rules are complex and we suggest you get advise about this if necessary.  For care in your own home the value of your home should NOT be included.

Income: Some income is ignored during the financial assessment such as earned income from employment or self-employment, the mobility element of PIP (Personal Independence Payments) or DLA (Disability Living Allowance), Child Benefit and Tax Credits (or the relevant element of Universal Credit).  Most other benefits and income will be taken into account and used in the calculation.

During the financial assessment you will be asked about any disability related expenses that can be considered.  This is very important and is often overlooked.  Please think about all the additional costs you have that relate to your disability.  Some examples are additional laundry costs due to incontinence; special dietary needs; costs related to service and maintenance of disability equipment such as stairlifts; special footwear or additional heating costs.

Once the local authority has gathered the information about your income and capital they will work out how much money you have coming in and deduct the amount decided by the government that you need to live on per week (for care in the home this is called the minimum income guarantee and is the same as is used in the calculation for means tested benefits like income support).  This calculation will then determine how much you should contribute towards the cost of your care.  The calculation will be sent to you in writing and we suggest you check the details and get advice if you are unclear about the contents.

Aids and Adaptions

During the assessment it may become clear that aids and adaptions are required to enable you to continue living safely and independently in your home.  There are a wide range of aids and adaptions and they include:

  • Grab rails
  • Bed raisers to increase the height of the bed, bed rails, slide sheets
  • Walking frames
  • Ramps
  • Stairlifts
  • Raised toilets
  • Hoists
  • Riser recliner chairs
  • Commodes
  • Bath aids

With the increased use of technology people living with dementia are finding new and innovative ways of staying independent and living a full life.

Major home adaptions:

Disabled facilities grant:  These are for larger adaptions to your home and the eligibility is means tested, which means your income and savings are considered. The process is extensive and can take up to a year to complete.  The maximum award that can be made in England is £30,000, but generally they are much less than this.  As well as meeting the means test you must meet the eligibility test.  You are treated as disabled and therefor eligible to apply if you meet one of the following:

  • your sight, hearing, or speech is substantially impaired
  • you have a mental disorder or impairment of any kind
  • you are physically substantially disabled by illness, injury, impairment present since birth, or otherwise, or
  • you are, or could be, registered disabled with a social services department

A disability Facilities grant can be considered for various home adaptions that include:

  • Door widening, removing a door threshold, wheelchair ramp, external wheelchair lift
  • Stairlift or through-floor wheelchair lift
  • Level access or wet-room wheelchair accessible shower, or one with a seat; wheelchair accessible wash basin and wider bathroom.
  • Electric hoist

For further information or to apply for a DFG (Disabled Facilities Grant) please contact Adult Social Care on 020 8937 430 or contact us for further info. 

Financial Support

Welfare benefits – Disability related benefits.

Attendance Allowance is a benefit you can claim if you have additional support need with your personal care and are over pension age.  It is not means tested and it does not matter what your income and savings are.

You can claim Attendance Allowance if:

  • You are over pension age.
  • You have a long term physical or mental health illness or disability such as dementia.
  • You have additional needs to support you with your personal care whether or not you actually get any help. This often confuses people who think that because they do not have help, they are not eligible, this is not the case. Personal care means things like help washing, dressing, getting in/out of bed, taking medication.

There are special rules if you are terminally ill so that you can claim straight away.

How much is Attendance Allowance?

The current rates of AA are:

Lower rate – £59.70 per week
if you need care or supervision during the day or night.

Higher rate – £89.15 per week
if you need care or supervision during the day and night, or if you are terminally ill.

An award of Attendance Allowance will not reduce your other benefits such as pension or housing benefit but may mean that you are entitled to slightly more due to your additional needs.

How to make a claim for Attendance Allowance:

If you want to make a claim for Attendance Allowance you can download a claim form or call the Attendance Allowance helpline on 0800 731 0122 to ask for an application pack.

Please do ask for help if you would like to make a claim as we have a trained benefits adviser who can help. For more help contact us.

Personal Independent Payments If you are 16+ and under pension age you can make a claim for Personal Independence Payments if you have additional needs due to an illness or disability, such as dementia.  It does not matter what income or savings you have as PIP (Personal Independence Payments) is not means tested.

You can make a claim for PIP if you:

  • find it hard to do everyday tasks or get around because of a physical or mental condition – you can make a claim whether you get help from another person or not
  • have found these things hard for 3 months and expect it to continue for another 9 months
  • usually be living in England, Scotland or Wales when you apply
  • have lived in England, Scotland or Wales for at least 2 years – unless you’re a refugee or an immediate family member of a refugee

There are different rules if you are terminally ill.

When assessing your application, the DWP will look at the following activities to see if you need additional help.  It is crucial that you get support when making an application to ensure that you get an award appropriate to your needs:

  • preparing and cooking food
  • eating and drinking
  • managing your treatments
  • washing and bathing
  • managing toilet needs or incontinence
  • dressing and undressing
  • communicating with other people
  • reading and understanding written information
  • mixing with others
  • making decisions about money
  • planning a journey or following a route
  • moving around

If you need help with any of the above (even if you do not get the help, you should consider applying for PIP).

How much can you get?

The current rates of PIP are:

Daily Living component: Standard £59.70     Enhanced £89.15

Mobility component: Standard £23.60   Enhanced £62.25

The rate awarded will be based on your scoring against the set descriptors based on the activities detailed above.

How to make a claim:

Claims for PIP are generally made by telephone but in some circumstances can be made on paper. To start a new claim for PIP you should telephone the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) on 0800 917 2222 (textphone 0800 917 7777). 

While making the initial claim phone call please have these details ready:

  • your National Insurance number
  • your bank or building society account details
  • your GP or other health professional’s details
  • details of any recent stays in hospitals, care home or hospices (including dates)
  • details of any time you’ve spent out of the country
  • nationality or immigration status
  • if you are terminally ill you will need to discuss your conditions during this initial claim

If you meet the eligibility conditions you will be sent a PIP2 to complete which looks at your health conditions and how they impact on your life.  It is important that this form is completed with as much detail as possible. Also, that you explain in detail your conditions and how they impact on you.  Please take your time to complete the form so as not to forget anything.  We would suggest that you keep a diary for a week of tasks that you find difficult, how long they take and how you felt during and after the task.

We would also suggest that you ask someone like your family carer or partner to look over the form to see if they have anything to add.  There is a section on the form for them to complete if they want to.

Medical evidence is also crucial for your PIP claim.  This can be medical reports from your consultant/occupational therapist/support worker, discharge summaries after a stay in hospital, supporting letters from your GP.  You could also ask a family carer or friend to write a supporting letter.  Make sure you keep copies of all the evidence you send and a copy of the PIP2 form if possible. 

Please do not feel overwhelmed when competing the application form.  There is support available to you and if you would like help please do ask. contact us.

Once the DWP have the PIP2 form and the evidence relating to your claim they will see whether they can make a decision without the need for an assessment.  If they would like more information, they will contact you to arrange either a telephone or face to face assessment.

Benefit rules are complex and we understand it may be daunting to make the application without support.  Please do contact us and we will arrange for a trained benefits adviser to contact you.

Benefits for people of pension age:

Pension credit is a means tested benefit for people of pension age and comes in 2 parts.

  • Guarantee Credit is paid to top up your income to the minimum amount the government estimate you need to live on. Many people are entitled to claim this extra income but are not aware they qualify. The current minimum weekly amounts are:

£173.75 if you’re single

£265.20 if you’re a couple

If your income is higher than this you may still get Guaranteed Credit if you have a severe disability, are a carer or have mortgage costs.

  • Savings Credit is only available to claim if you reached retirement age before 6 April 2016. It is extra money if you have some savings or have income higher than the basic state pension.

You could get:

£13.97 extra per week if you’re single

£15.62 if you’re a couple.

Claiming Pension Credit:

It only takes one phone call and you won’t have to fill in a form. Call the Pension Credit claim line on 0800 99 1234 (textphone: 0800 169 0133). They will fill in the application for you over the phone.  They will be able to tell you if you are likely to have a claim within a few minutes.  Please make sure you have with you before you call:

  • National Insurance number
  • Bank account details
  • Information about your income, savings and investments (maybe have a copy of your bank statements to hand)
  • Information about your pensions, including occupational and private pensions
  • Details of any housing costs (such as mortgage payments or service charges)
  • Partner’s details (if you have a partner)

You can also claim online at

Benefits for people of working age:

Universal Credits are gradually being introduced to replace some existing means tested benefits that include Jobseekers Allowance, Housing Benefit and Employment and Support Allowance (known by the government as ‘legacy’ benefits).  It does not replace all benefits and will not impact on Personal Independence Payments (PIP), Attendance Allowance or Council Tax Support for example.

Universal Credits is a working age benefit and is managed by the DWP.  There are some differences to the claims process that can make it challenging to claim for people with mental health conditions such as dementia.  Claims are usually made and managed online (can be made on the phone in some limited circumstances).  This can be very difficult for people that do not have access to the internet at home or do not have the skills or knowledge.  However, there is help available and it should not prevent you from making a claim.

Universal Credits are paid monthly and in arrears and you are expected to manage the money paid to you.  The money for rent is usually paid to you and not your landlord, although you can request that it is paid directly to them. Find out more and make a claim at

Benefits are complex and can be confusing to navigate, so we suggest you get support from our trained benefits adviser.  (contact us).

 Statutory Sick Pay is paid by employers to employees below pension age, for up to 28 weeks in any one period of sickness that lasts for four days or more. To qualify, you must be employed and earn a set amount or more each week before tax. Statutory sick pay is paid at a flat rate and is taxable. For more detail see

Help with staying active:

A Blue Badge can be applied for online or by a paper application form.  The application can take a while to complete and you will need to have all the information required to hand before you start.  We will describe later what you need to have ready.

A blue badge allows you to park closer to your destination if you have mobility problems.  You can recognise these designated blue badge spaces by the sign.  Many people with dementia have problems with co-ordination, balance and spatial awareness and therefore can meet the criteria for a blue badge.  However, until 2018 and a change to the law, the focus was very much on mobility and your ability to walk.  This meant that many people living with dementia were refused a blue badge.  In 2019 the Local Authorities started to implement the new guidance from the government and now consider hidden disabilities like dementia when dealing with blue badge applications.    

How to apply for a Blue Badge.

You can start your online application here  or you can request a paper application form by calling Brent Council on 020 8937 1234.  The fee is currently £10.  You may be automatically eligible for a blue badge if you:

  • Are registered blind
  • Get the higher mobility component of DLA (Disability Living Allowance)
  • Get PIP mobility component and scored more than 8 points in the moving around descriptor
  • Get war pension mobility supplement
  • Received a lump sum payment as part of the Armed Forces Compensation scheme (tariffs 1 to 8), and have been certified as having a permanent and substantial disability

If you meet any of the above, you still need to make an application but will be awarded a blue badge automatically.  If you do not meet any of the above you can still apply and be assessed.

When making the application you will need to have ready:

  • Your national insurance number
  • Proof of identity like a passport, driving licence or birth certificate
  • Proof of address (within the last 12 months – for example a utility bill)
  • Up to date contact details including an email address
  • A recent digital photo (this does not need to be a passport photo. It can be taken on a mobile phone as long as it shows the persons face, head and shoulders and has a plain light background in good lighting)
  • PIP award letter if you have one (showing the points scored)
  • Medical evidence such as a consultant’s letter

When you complete the application try to give as much detail as possible. It might help to have someone support you while you complete the application like a family member, friend, or advice worker (contact us).  During the application you will be given the opportunity to explain ‘how your disability or illness affects your walking’, This is very important, and you should consider how dementia affects your mobility.  For example, you may get disorientated and confused in busy places, you may need to be guided and supervised by another person, you may not recognise road signage or you may be unsteady on your feet and be susceptible to falls.  Please do give as much detail as possible in this section.

What happens next?

Once you have made your application and submitted all the evidence requested the local authority might ask you to attend for an assessment.   Decisions about blue badge are taking several weeks at present so please be patient. 

If you are refused a blue badge you can challenge the decision and we suggest you should get some advice before doing so. (contact us)

Taxicard is a scheme that provides subsidised travel for people who have long term mobility problems or are severely sight impaired and struggle to use the transport system.  The application should be made here:

Taxicard holders can make journeys in licensed London Taxi’s at reduced rates.  You can use your journeys to visit friends, socialise, go shopping etc.  You cannot use your taxicard for personal hospital appointments.  Please contact your GP to arrange hospital transport.

A taxicard will give you a maximum of 8 subsidised trips per month which can roll over into the next if not used.

To be eligible for a taxicard you must have one of the following:

  • Higher Rate of the Mobility Component of Disability Living Allowance (HRMCDLA) for life / indefinite period.
  • Registered as Severely Sight Impaired/Blind.
  • War Pensioner’s Mobility Supplement (WPMS).

If you do not have any of the above, you can still apply and you may be asked to attend for an assessment.

Help with council tax:

If you are on a low income and have savings under £16,000 you may be entitled to help with your council tax under the Council Tax Reduction Scheme which is administered by your council.  The Council Tax Reduction Scheme is means tested and the rules are different depending on your local authority.

To be eligible under the CTR scheme you must be

  • The person responsible for paying council tax and
  • Living in the property

You will be assessed on your income and savings to decide if you should receive support under the scheme and how much.  More detail about the scheme can be found here

 For people over pension age: If you receive Guarantee Pension Credit, you may get your Council Tax paid in full. If not, you may still get some help if you are on a low income, and you and your partner have savings and investments of less than £16,000 between you. How much help you will get depends on:

  • your household income and your savings or investments
  • who you live with
  • which benefits you receive
  • how much Council Tax you pay

The amount you receive may be higher if you, or someone living with you, have a disability or caring responsibilities.

 How else can I save money on my Council Tax?

You may also be entitled to a reduction in your bill if you meet the eligibility for a discount. This is different from the Council Tax Reduction scheme detailed above and is based on your household circumstances and not your income or savings.

Single person discount: Council Tax is calculated on the basis that 2 adults or more will be living in a property.  If you live alone, you will be entitled to a 25% discount on your bill.  You may also be eligible for this discount if you live with other people as not everyone is counted for council tax purposes.  If you have a severe mental impairment, such as Dementia or Parkinson’s, you are likely to be disregarded for council tax.  In addition, some family carers are also disregarded as are students.  The rules regarding discounts are complex and you will not be given a discount unless you apply, so please do contact us so that our trained adviser can support you.

Dependent on your income, savings, and household you may also be eligible to apply under the Council Tax Reduction scheme, once any relevant discounts have been applied to the bill.

Example 1: John lives with his wife.  He has been diagnosed with dementia and applies to the council for a discount due to his severe mental impairment.  He completes a short form and his GP signs the form to verify the diagnosis.  John has been diagnosed with dementia for 2 years but was not aware of the discount until now.  He asks the council to backdate his discount, which they can do at their discretion.  John is delighted to get a 25% discount on his current bill.  The council also agree to backdate his discount for 2 years.

Example 2: Jane cares for her grandad with dementia who lives with her as he could no longer manage on his own. No one else lives in the property.  Jane works part-time and does not claim carers allowance as her earnings are over the threshold.   Jane applies to the council for a discount based on her grandfather having a severe mental impairment, and for herself as a carer (as she is caring for someone who is not her partner or a child and who receives a qualifying disability benefit). After assessing the claim the council apply a 25% discount for Jane’s father and a 25% discount for her as a carer.  Jane receives the maximum discount of 50%.

Benefits are complex and we are here to provide support with navigating the system.  We can conduct a full benefit check and help you claim anything you are not claiming but entitled to.  Please do not struggle on your own – contact us and we will guide and support you. 

Alternatively, you can check your benefit entitlement and search for grants via the Turn2Us website at

Planning Ahead

It is never too early to start planning after a diagnosis of dementia. Planning can mean that the person living with dementia is given choice and control over who they entrust to manage their affairs should the need arise.  It will allow them to make informed choices and may act to empower them.

Managing someone else’s affairs can mean several different things that include, but are not limited to:

  • Looking after financial matters such as bank accounts, savings and investments.
  • Making decisions about day-to-day personal care and health.
  • Claiming and managing welfare benefits.
  • Deciding where someone lives.

There are several ways to manage someone’s affairs and it may be wise to get advice before starting any legal procedures, to ensure you have considered all options and understand the implications.  See below for the different options for managing someones affairs.

  1. Third Party Mandate: To manage your day-to-day banking you can authorise someone you trust to temporarily operate your bank account. Many banks have a form that they will ask you to complete to nominate an appropriate person.  This form is called a Third-Party Mandate, which you can return to the bank once completed.  Please contact your bank to find out more about this option.  This short-term solution may not be relevant where there are several accounts or complex financial arrangements in place.  In this case you will need to consider Power of Attorney as an alternative solution.
  2. Appointeeship: This will allow someone that you trust and appoint to manage your welfare benefits.  This can include making calls to the DWP on your behalf or sorting out problems when they arise or claiming and stopping benefits.  For more details please see the DWP website.
  3. Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA): is a legal document drawn up to designate one or more trusted attorney(s) who will be responsible for making decisions on your behalf should you be unable to manage your own affairs in the future. See below for more information.
  4. Deputyship: as Dementia progresses a person may lose the ability to make decisions for themselves (known as mental capacity). They may not be able to manage their money or finances and may not make informed decisions about their health and wellbeing. Click here for more information about deputyship.

More Information about Lasting Power of Attorney.

There are 2 types of LPA and you can choose to have one or both drawn up.   You can also appoint the same people for each LPA or choose different people.  The two types are:

  1. Property and Financial: (which gives the attorney permission to manage your financial affairs such as bank accounts, paying bills, managing welfare benefits). This can take effect immediately if you agree.
  2. Health and Welfare: (which allows the attorney appointed to make decision about your medical care, future care needs including moving into a care home and decisions about sustaining life). This will only come into effect when you no longer have the capacity to make these decisions for yourself.

How to apply for Power of Attorney:

Step 1. Choosing someone to act on your behalf:

Your attorney should be someone you trust that will be able to make decisions in your best interest. You can choose more than one person to act as your attorney.

They could be:

  • your partner or spouse
  • a family member or a friend
  • a professional, such as a solicitor. However, there will be a fee for this.

Step 2.  Get advice:

Consider whether you need to get some independent advice about the best way to proceed.  If you would like to discuss this in more detail, please contact us .

Step 3. Complete the forms:

The relevant forms for LPA can be downloaded or requested from the Office of the Public Guardian  You can complete the forms yourself or get help from a solicitor or legal adviser to ensure you get the correct information at this stage, as it can be complex to correct later. Alternatively, the Office of Public Guardian offer a helpline service to assist with queries related to the process: Telephone: 0300 456 0300 Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, except Wednesday, 10am to 5pm

The form will need to be signed by a certificate provider who can verified that you have not been put under any pressure to complete it, and that you clearly understand the process.  This must be someone you know well or a professional such as a Doctor or a Solicitor.

Step 4. Register the LPA:

Once completed the forms must be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian before the LPA can be used.  There is a fee to register of £82 (£164 if you are registering both a Health and a Financial LPA).  You may be eligible for a reduction of this fee based on your financial circumstances.

If you later have any problems or need to amend the LPA please contact the Office of the Public Guardian on 0300 456 0300.

More Information about Deputyship.

If no LPA is in place and the person concerned lacks mental capacity, you should consider applying for deputyship.  To apply for deputyship, you must be 18 years old or older and applications must be made to the Court of Protection.   If the court appoints you as the deputy for your loved one this comes with some responsibility and we would suggest you get advice before making any decisions.  A deputy is usually a friend or relative of the person concerned, but can also be a professional person such as a solicitor, but this will incur significant costs.

There are 2 types of deputyship:

  1. Property and affairs deputyship: The court will only appoint a deputy if there is no LPA in place and the person concerned has lost the capacity to make financial decisions for themselves. This is the most common type of deputyship awarded.
  2. Personal welfare deputyship: This is rarely awarded as decisions about welfare are usually made in the persons best interest by the professionals providing the treatment or care. However, the Court of Protection can appoint a deputy if there is a dispute about care/treatment.

Responsibilities of a deputy:

When acting as a deputy you are required to make decisions in the best interest of the person concerned, act in good faith and under the direction of the court. If you are managing the persons financial affairs you will also need to keep their income in a separate account and keep accounts and receipts.  A yearly report will also be required to update the court and you may be asked to provide evidence such as bank statements and receipts. The Office of the Public Guardian can guide you on this matter.

How to apply for Deputyship:

The forms are held by the Court of Protection and can be requested directly.

Court of Protection tel. 0300 456 4600

The process is lengthy and there are several forms to complete to make your application.   The Court of Protection can help you with this although they cannot give legal advice.  If you want support with the forms a solicitor will assist, but there will be a charge (please be clear about any costs involved).  There is also a court cost for making the application, which may be reduced due to the persons income/savings.

Once your application has been completed and submitted it may take several weeks or months for you to receive a decision.

We are here to offer advice and support on this so please do not hesitate to contact the Dementia Hub Team (contact us)

Safeguarding Adults

Safeguarding is a term covering the various measures put in place to ensure people with dementia are properly cared for.  Everyone concerned with their wellbeing, including carers, friends and family, should be aware of it and what to do if they have a safeguarding concern.

Safeguarding is defined under the Care Act 2014 as:

protecting an adult’s right to live in safety, free from abuse and neglect. It is about people and organisations working together to prevent and stop both the risks and experience of abuse or neglect, while at the same time making sure that the adult’s wellbeing is promoted including, where appropriate, having regard to their views, wishes, feelings and beliefs in deciding on any action. This must recognise that adults sometimes have complex interpersonal relationships and may be ambivalent, unclear or unrealistic about their personal circumstances.

This is based around six key principles:

  • Empowerment – Supporting people to make their own decisions
  • Prevention – Acting decisively before harm occurs
  • Proportionality – Any response should be as unintrusive as possible
  • Protection – Those in greatest need should have support and representation
  • Partnership – Local communities and services are a part of preventing abuse and neglect
  • Accountability – Safeguarding should be done in an accountable and transparent manner

See the care and support statutory guidance for more information.

Due to its impact on memory, concentration and communication, dementia can make people more vulnerable to abuse and neglect. This can take many forms but can include:

  • Humiliation and threats
  • Putting pressure on someone or not giving them a choice
  • Ignoring someone or leaving them unattended when they are in distress
  • Withholding food or drink
  • Rough handling

There are many, often overlapping, types of abuse and neglect identified by the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE):

  • Physical abuse – e.g., assault, force feeding, physical punishment
  • Domestic violence – e.g., phycological or emotional abuse, controlling behaviour
  • Sexual abuse – e.g., sexual assault, indecent exposure, inappropriate touching
  • Psychological or emotional abuse – e.g., social isolation, not respecting privacy, threats
  • Financial or material abuse – e.g., fraud, theft, blocking access to benefits
  • Modern slavery – e.g., forced labour, debt bondage, domestic servitude
  • Discriminatory abuse – e.g., harassment or poor care based on protected characteristics such as age disability or race
  • Organisational or institutional abuse – e.g., overcrowded or badly run establishments
  • Neglect and acts of omission – e.g., not providing medication, insufficient food or heating
  • Self-neglect – e.g., neglecting personal hygiene, self-harm, inability to manage

Signs that abuse or neglect may be occurring include:

  • Physical injuries like bruising that may result from unexplained falls
  • Changes in mood or becoming withdrawn
  • Not wanting to see friends or family members
  • Avoiding being alone with certain people
  • Losing or gaining weight, often as the result of a change in appetite
  • Self-neglect or poor personal hygiene

See the types and indicators of abuse page on the SCIE website for more information.

If you suspect someone in your care, or a friend or family member is suffering abuse or neglect and want to raise a safeguarding concern you can contact the Brent safeguarding adult team by telephone:
0208 937 4098 or 0208 937 4099 (9am-5pm, Monday-Friday)
0208 863 5250 (Outside office hours)

Or by completing this form and emailing it as an attachment to

If there is an immediate risk of harm then call the police on 999.

Local Services

Advice, Carers, Elderly, Large charity
Information, training and advice for older people, along with befriending, homeshare and help at home services.

  • 020 8756 3040 (Mon-Fri: 9am-5pm)


Advice and support for people with dementia, including befriending, home care and day services.

  • 033 0333 0804 (Every day: 8am-10pm)

Advice on housing, money, benefits and health and social care services.

One to one and group counselling and support for bereaved people, along with organisational training.

  • 077 4740 1448

Advice, support and advocacy for unpaid carers.

  • 020 3802 7070 (Mon-Fri: 9am-5pm)

Treatment and support to those with bladder and bowel problems, referral must be made by a healthcare professional.

  • 020 8795 6454

Information and help for people with dementia.

Brent Council – Help for people with dementia

Emergency food parcels for those in need, referral is usually via vouchers issued by support agencies.

  • 020 3745 5972

Support and advice for carers, independent advocacy and services to prevent social isolation.

  • 020 3948 0600

Diagnosis and assesment of dementia, as well as support for carers, referral must be made by a healthcare professional.

  • 020 8206 3950

Advice on money, housing and legal matters, as well as training for people in the Indian communities.

  • 020 8903 3019

Loans and repairs mobility equipment and carries out needs assessments for disabled people.

  • 080 8164 2040 8am – 6pm, Monday to Friday

Regulator for the adult health and social care sector.

  • 030 0061 6161 (Mon-Fri: 8.30am-5.30pm)

Support for people with dementia and their carers in the African/Caribbean and BAME comunities.

  • 080 0014 8682

One to one support through their Admiral Nurses program, as we as information about living with dementia and advice for carers.

  • 080 0888 6678 (Mon-Fri: 9am-9pm, Sat-Sun: 9am-5pm)

In home nursing care for people who’s condition makes leaving the house difficult, referral must be made by a healthcare professional.

  • 020 8438 7180 (Mon-Fri: 8.30am-4.30pm)

A free, bookable, door to door minibus service for disabled people.

  • 034 3222 7777

Advice on money, housing and socialising, as well as home maintenance, including installation, carpentry and plumbing.

  • 020 8968 8170

Advice on money, housing and health, as well as befriending services, to help older people remain independent.

  • 020 7605 4200

Community support, advice and services for older and disabled people in the Jewish community.

  • 020 8922 2222

Advice for people in debt, either over the phone or online.

  • 080 8808 4000 (Mon to Fri: 9am – 8pm, Sat: 9.30am-1pm)

Comprehensive guide to dementia, its symptoms, how to get a diagnosis, and how to live with the condition.


Helpline for people who need someone to talk through their problems with.

  • 116 123

Advice for people in debt, through their online debt advice tool.

  • 080 0138 1111 (Mon-Fri, 8am-8pm, Sat 8am-4pm)

Emergency food parcels and hot meals for those in need, referral is usually via vouchers issued by support agencies.

  • 020 3441 1335 (10am-5pm, Mon-Fri)

Helpline for older people that offers conversation, advice and can link them to appropriate services.

  • 080 0470 8090

Advice for people in financial difficulty, including a benefits calculator and a grants search