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How to identify a change of need

For many people with MS, recognising that help is needed with tasks that were previously easy can understandably be a huge emotional challenge. If you are finding that certain tasks are becoming increasingly difficult it may be time for a care needs assessment. iStock-1275350376.jpg

What does that mean?

Perhaps your ability to move about your home safely isn’t quite as it was, maybe you are now finding maintaining your home is becoming difficult and exacerbates your fatigue. You may be finding you need assistance with managing toileting, personal care, and dressing. These are all signs that may indicate you have a change of need.

An assessment should also consider things like

  • How you maintain relationships with family and friends
  • Your ability to take part in education, training, work, or volunteering
  • Your ability to participate in social activities and use of public transport
  • How you look after children you have responsibility for

If you have significant difficulties or problems with any of the above, it is likely that you will be given a support plan to meet your care needs.

Broadly the assessments will cover your support needs, your wellbeing, and the impact your disability has on your ability to care for yourself.

An assessment of need may have a variety of outcomes for you and care and support packages should look and feel different for everyone. It can be daunting, coming to terms with the fact support is needed, but social care packages should be personalised and tailored to your individual needs and when working well, can be life changing.

If you are offered a care and support package, you should have the opportunity to arrange and purchase your own care via a Personal Budget. This can be taken in the form of a ‘direct payment’. It may be helpful to read our Choices booklet on Personal Budgets as this goes into detail about how a direct payment can be used to meet your needs in the way that is best for you.

Please call our helpline if you feel you have a change of need, or to talk about how to identify those changes and how to make the first steps in getting an assessment. Our helpline can support you through the process. The MS-UK helpline is available Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm. Please call 0800 783 0518, email info@ms-uk.org or live webchat