Caring for Elderly Parents

As our parents age, they often need more care. Mobility issues and other concerns can make it more difficult for them to remain completely independent. However, often, elderly parents want to remain in their homes. This can feel like a burden to those in the caretaker role, whether child, partner, or sibling. Support is available for caretakers in this situation.

Carer’s Assessment

The Care Act 2014 came into force in April 2015. Under this law, local authorities have a duty assess any caretaker who requests an assessment or who appears in need of support. To apply, simply contact your local council.

What’s Involved in a Carer’s Assessment

Basically, a carer’s assessment is a conversation between you – the caretaker – and a trained professional from your local council. The goal is not to evaluate how good you are at caring for your loved one. Instead, it looks at how much support you’ll need and the impact of being a caretaker on you own health, wellbeing, work, and family life.


To make the most of your assessment, be realistic about your loved one’s needs. Don’t feel shy about stating the facts or underestimate the amount of support necessary, lest you don’t get the full support you need.


Based on the carer’s assessment, the council may write a support plan. This plan lays out how your needs will be met and may include things like assistance with housework, buying a laptop. In addition, you may receive, help with home adaptation and emotional support as well as be given information and advice about what other support is available.

How Are My Loved One’s Needs Assessed

You or your loved one can request a needs assessment, which is completed by your local adult social services department. In some instances this assessment may be carried out at the same time as a carer’s assessment. In many cases, assistance such as special equipment or coordinated break times become part of the care plan. Each local authority has their own policy for charging for the support they provide based on this assessment.

Home Help

The type of home support varies among local authorities and depends on your loved one’s level of independence and mobility. Frequently, home help may include a homecare worker visiting your loved one’s home twice a day to assist with personal care or other tasks.

Moving Your Loved One to Your Home

In some situations, it may make sense to move your loved one into your home to best provide them care. Doing so does not affect your ability to get support. You’re still entitled to a carer’s assessment and any resulting support.

Financial Support

Being a caretaker can put a strain on finances. Both you and the person you care for may be entitled to financial assistance. The type of assistance you can get as a carer depends on your level of need. The support your loved one is entitled to varies. Learn more about what the person you’re caring for may be entitled to.


Being a caretaker is emotionally and physically draining, so taking breaks is important. Based your carer’s assessment, you’re entitled to short respite periods. In addition, come charitable organizations offer breaks for carers.

More Information and Support


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In the UK, disabled people do not have to pay VAT when buying certain disability aids and services (This can be claimed by friend or family member purchasing on their behalf). Not everything supplied to disabled people is necessarily zero-rated for VAT. Goods and services on which you do not have to pay VAT are usually known as 'zero-rated' or 'eligible for VAT relief.

Who is eligible for VAT relief?

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VAT Relief on our Disability Aids

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How VAT relief works

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More information from HMRC

You can find out more about VAT Relief for disabled people on the HM Revenue and Customs website. If you cannot find the answer to your questions there or would prefer to speak to an adviser, you can call their Helpline on 0845 302 02 03.

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