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:
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:
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:
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:
If you would like support with requesting a needs assessment or with challenging a decision about care please contact us for further info .
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:
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:
A disability Facilities grant can be considered for various home adaptions that include:
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.
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:
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:
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:
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:
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.
Pension credit is a means tested benefit for people of pension age and comes in 2 parts.
£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.
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:
You can also claim online at www.gov.uk/pension-credit/how-to-claim.
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 https://www.gov.uk/universal-credit/how-to-claim
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 https://www.gov.uk/statutory-sick-pay.
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 https://apply-blue-badge.service.gov.uk/applicant 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:
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:
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: https://www.londoncouncils.gov.uk/services/taxicard
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:
If you do not have any of the above, you can still apply and you may be asked to attend for an assessment.
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
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 https://www.brent.gov.uk/services-for-residents/benefits-and-money-advice/council-tax-support-information/
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:
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 https://www.turn2us.org.uk/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI8sbNlLaZ7gIVTdTtCh1X3Q21EAAYAiAAEgI0cPD_BwE
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:
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.
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:
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:
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 https://www.gov.uk/power-of-attorney/make-lasting-power. 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.
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:
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.
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 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:
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:
There are many, often overlapping, types of abuse and neglect identified by the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE):
Signs that abuse or neglect may be occurring include:
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)
If there is an immediate risk of harm then call the police on 999.
Advice, Carers, Elderly, Large charity
Information, training and advice for older people, along with befriending, homeshare and help at home services.
Advice and support for people with dementia, including befriending, home care and day services.
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.
Advice, support and advocacy for unpaid carers.
Treatment and support to those with bladder and bowel problems, referral must be made by a healthcare professional.
Information and help for people with dementia.
Emergency food parcels for those in need, referral is usually via vouchers issued by support agencies.
Support and advice for carers, independent advocacy and services to prevent social isolation.
Diagnosis and assesment of dementia, as well as support for carers, referral must be made by a healthcare professional.
Advice on money, housing and legal matters, as well as training for people in the Indian communities.
Loans and repairs mobility equipment and carries out needs assessments for disabled people.
Regulator for the adult health and social care sector.
Support for people with dementia and their carers in the African/Caribbean and BAME comunities.
One to one support through their Admiral Nurses program, as we as information about living with dementia and advice for carers.
In home nursing care for people who’s condition makes leaving the house difficult, referral must be made by a healthcare professional.
A free, bookable, door to door minibus service for disabled people.
Advice on money, housing and socialising, as well as home maintenance, including installation, carpentry and plumbing.
Advice on money, housing and health, as well as befriending services, to help older people remain independent.
Community support, advice and services for older and disabled people in the Jewish community.
Advice for people in debt, either over the phone or online.
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.
Advice for people in debt, through their online debt advice tool.
Emergency food parcels and hot meals for those in need, referral is usually via vouchers issued by support agencies.
Helpline for older people that offers conversation, advice and can link them to appropriate services.
Advice for people in financial difficulty, including a benefits calculator and a grants search