A key role of a carer at a NDIS planning meeting is to support the person they care for to clearly articulate to their NDIS planner:
- what support they get now
- what support they need
- what their goals are, and
- the impact of disability on the person, their carer/s and their family.
If the person you care for has limited, or no, capacity to make decisions or arrangements for the NDIS themselves, as their carer, you may need to speak and act on behalf of them, so your role will be even more important.
One of our most useful pieces of advice, whatever your role in the planning meeting, is…DON’T ASSUME ANYTHING!
You know the person you care for much better than the planner does, so you need to try to be as thorough as you can in describing the support needs of the person you care for, including details of all support you and other family members provide (on a regular and even an ad hoc basis).
One thing you can do to help ensure you give the NDIS planner the full picture of the person’s life and support needs, is to write a carers statement to give to the NDIS planner.
What is a carers statement and why do I need one?
A carers statement is a written document describing the support you provide to the person you care for, and detailing their support needs and the impact of their disability. A carers statement can be used as part of a person’s application for NDIS support, but it’s not compulsory. You can also give this information to the NDIS planner verbally.
What if I don’t want to write a carers statement?
You don’t have to write a carers statement. If you prefer, you can try to cover everything when you talk to the planner about the support needs of the person you care for during their planning meeting. It may help you to write down some notes to help you with this conversation.
However you choose to approach this, the important thing is that you give the NDIS planner a good understanding of:
- the person’s informal supports (i.e. unpaid supports provided by yourself and other family members or friends)
- any other supports the person currently has, or needs
- the impact of the person’s disability on their life, and yours and your family’s life, and
- what supports the person you care for might need if you were unable to give them support.
When might a carers statement be useful?
People may find putting a carers statement down on paper useful in situations such as:
- If you find it difficult to verbally share details of the person you care for
- If English is not your first language. In this situation, you can get support from a translator and/or Yooralla to write the important things down so you’re not as worried about explaining this at the planning meeting, or
- If you feel you might get too emotional talking about the life of the person you care for and the impact of their disability on theirs, and your family’s, lives.
How can I get help with what to tell the NDIS planner?
Yooralla Connect can support you to prepare a carers statement, or to work out what you should tell the planner at the NDIS planning meeting. You can book a free NDIS discussion to discuss your personal circumstances and needs in private - and have your NDIS questions answered.