1. emscub

    emscub Registered User

    Dec 5, 2003
    Hello all,

    As I've already written, I've now persuaded my Mum to take my Nan to back to the doctors to get her re-assessed and get an answer this time.

    My Nan currently receives attendence allowance but I believe it's the low rate (£38 or something similar). Does anyone know the criteria for the higher rate as she was assessed for this quite a while ago. Also, does anyone know whether there's anything else that can be claimed as my parents are both out at work full-time and really need a break?

  2. Meldrew

    Meldrew Registered User

    Apr 28, 2003
    #2 Meldrew, Dec 30, 2003
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2003
    Hello emscub(?)
    I suggest you try for a reassessment for your Nan.
    Attendance allowance can be claimed by people who need help with personal care or require supervision to avoid risk to themselves or others.
    The criteria for the different levels of attendance allowance work something like this:

    Care needs might include help or prompting with activities such as washing, dressing, eating, going to the toilet, turning over or settling in bed, or taking medication. They may also include assistance with social and recreational activities. Supervision needs include any watching over that is necessary to avoid certain risks inside or outside the home.

    Someone with dementia is likely to qualify for the top rates of attendance allowance if they need frequent help or prompting with personal care, or continual supervision to avoid danger during the day, and either help with personal care or supervision for a prolonged period or several times during the night.

    They are likely to qualify for the lower rate of attendance allowance or middle rate of disability living allowance care component if they need frequent help with personal care or supervision either during the day or night.

    Someone may qualify for the lower rate of disability living allowance if they can show that they need help with personal care for some of the day or cannot prepare a main cooked meal for themselves without assistance.

    The attendance allowance claim form can be pretty daunting to complete and it's often useful to seek help when attempting to do so - some Citizens Advice Bureaux provide a service by which they'll go through the form with you.

    The only other benefit that you could also try claiming for is Carer's allowance. This can be paid to carers who spend at least 35 hours a week looking after someone receiving attendance allowance. The carer does not have to be related to or living with the person for whom they provide care. Carers are not eligible for carer’s allowance if they earn more than a limited amount each a week after the deduction of allowable expenses, if they are in full time education, or if they are receiving more than a specified amount from certain other pensions or benefits. However, they may be entitled to an extra premium if they are receiving certain other benefits, such as income support or pension credit.

    It's also worthwhile checking what arrangements your Nan's local social services department has for providing respite care - your parents deserve, and are entitled to, a break.

    I've put some, hopefully, useful links below and you can also call the Alzheimer's Society helpline for more information or tips on 0845 300 0336 open 8.30 to 6.30 Monday to Friday (but closed Thursday and Friday this week)

    http://www.carersonline.org.uk/ (useful information for carers)
    http://www.communitycare.co.uk/Reference/default.asp?lisectionID=18&liParentID=17 (handy straightforward explanation of benefits)
    http://www.alzheimers.org.uk/After_diagnosis/Sorting_out_your_money/info_welfare.htm (Alzheimer's Society information on benefits)
    http://www.alzheimers.org.uk/Caring...tia/Coping_with_caring/info_shorttermcare.htm (Alzheimer's Society information on respite care)
  3. Jude

    Jude Registered User

    Dear Emma,

    Your Nan would almost certainly be eligible for a higher Attendance Allowance if she needs care during the night, ie: getting up and helping her to the bathroom, etc.

    Ask your local CPN for a reassessment.

  4. emscub

    emscub Registered User

    Dec 5, 2003
    Thankyou Meldrew and Jude for your advice.

    Think I'll try and persuade my parents to get my Nan reassessed then, although she currently doesn't cause us much trouble at night, the last time she was assessed she was nowhere near as dependent upon us as she is now.

    My name's Emma by the way!

  5. Jude

    Jude Registered User

    Dear Emma,

    If you only have to get up ONCE a night, then that's enough to have an upgrade. Most CPN's are sympathetic to understand that this is only the beginning - so just wing it. Sometimes my mother gets up 9 times a night, sometimes 3, very rarely never. If she's not up, then my father is.... Even if I don't have to get up and help, then I wake up and am ready to do so. Quite often you'll find that later on your Nan won't be able to find her own way back to her bedroom and will wander around in the dark. If you live in a two storey house, I suggest you install a tallish baby gate at the top of the stairs, in case she misses her footing. One thing about AD, is that you always have to think ahead and aticipate potential risk areas and problems. You never know what's going to happen next...!!

    Early on when my parents where diagnosed with AD, I slipped off to the Chemist to buy my mother some iron tabs. It was belting down with rain in the autumn and I figured they'd be okay for 15 minutes. Oh sure.....

    When I returned my Mum was wandering around calling out for my father. Couldn't find him anywhere until I heard him yelling out from the top of the garage roof. [He'd decided to clean the leaves out of the gutters]. Oh, just GREAT.... I get dizzy standing on a chair - so here we go with the ladder, both of us in dire straits having no fun at all. 'Hello Fire Brigade, can you get my father off our roof please'. One hour later, both soaked to the skin, my Dad was finally indoors in the bath. The fireman said 'Well, that makes a change from cats up trees.'

    My father wasn't taking Aricept at this stage and has no recollection of the event whatsover. Holy Snapping Duckbills, wot a life ay? Pretty funny retrospectively, but it could have ended very badly. So - hide all ladders, bathroom door keys so no lock-ins, in fact hide every single thing can could be a potential disaster zone. This pretty much leaves your house quite empty, but safe. Look on the bright side - it does minimise dusting.

    Happy New Year Jude
  6. emscub

    emscub Registered User

    Dec 5, 2003
    Happy New Year to you too Jude and everyone else.

    Thanks for your reply, it was rather amusing - although I'm sure not at the time!

    I'll tell my Mum about the babygate idea, although the only real issue we have with my Nan and the stairs at the moment is her frailty when she insists on going upstairs to 'tidy' the bedrooms.

    My Dad bumped into our old next door neighbour today who had apparently invited us over for drinks on New Years Eve during a phone call that my Nan apparently answered the other day. We never made that one, oops!Why do people insist on leaving messages? We had so many problems with nurses (my nan has diabetes - and a very sweet tooth - and with the lack of memory this can cause a few problems) leaving information on changes to her doses of tablets and injections which my parents giver her each day with her, and we obviously never hear a thing. Even notes get 'tidied' away. It's a nightmare!

    I'll stop the whingeing now!!

  7. Geraldine

    Geraldine Registered User

    Oct 17, 2003

    You may already have got this sorted out. But can I recommend that you get in touch with your local Carer's Support Group. My local one in Nottingham came out to us and spent a whole morning helping us fill out he forms for my Mum's AA allowance. She was brilliant knew exactly the right language to use. We had the application accepted and backdated almost by return of post.


  8. Jude

    Jude Registered User

    Dear Emma,

    Retrieving elderly parents from roof tops in NOT something I recommend on a daily basis and it was incredibly stressful for all of us.

    The main thing that this illustrates I think is that AD patients seem to lose all sense of danger, which is why one has to anticipate all sorts of potential risk areas in advance.

    My father was a metalwork and woodwork teacher as well as teaching maths/science, so he's very keen on DIY. After he retired, he also retrained as an electrician, which was what he actually always wanted to do. This now means hiding all tools or working with him under supervision, so that he doesn't try to repair lamps with the power supply still operating.

    Mind you, sometimes you can't think far enough ahead. We moved into our new bungalow in September last year and I'd hidden all tools, as my father was in total New house/DIY mode - trying to fix doors and windows that didn't quite close to his satisfaction.

    There were a couple of wardrobe doors that wouldn't quite close properly and when I was making lunch he fixed them. He couldn't find the tools BUT he did find a tube of instant set glue and fixed them very effectively by applying liberal quantities to the door frames. I had to get a builder friend in to open them as all of my parents clothes were inside. Oh GREAT - well done Dad....!!

    Nothing wrong with his problem-solving abilities apparently.

  9. Jpr

    Jpr Registered User

    Dec 26, 2003
    When filling in the forms it's important to imagine a worst day, not a good day. Very disabling for the person being referred to but never mind that. If your Nan wakes up is she safe or does she need someone to keep her out of danger - and in the house?
    It might be worth asking the Occupational Therapist at your Social Services to assess whether a second banister is needed to keep Nan safe. They may have a few other suggestions too.

    Speaking of roofs, our local Bobbies have informed us that con artists sell lists of vulnerable people alone during the day. So it's worth making sure that Nan hasn't got access to the funds to reroof the house like my Mum did! (Bless their theiving hearts, they convinced her to drive them to the bank to collect the dosh! -Despite having convinced her to cut up her driving licence).
    yes perception of harm is impaired. I now recommend agreeing a £50 ceiling on a credit card if you need to keep one going for self respect. - That and setting up accounts with the corner store if you trust them.
  10. emscub

    emscub Registered User

    Dec 5, 2003
    We're quite lucky in that my Nan knows not to leave the house. She hasn't had any wandering incidents since she moved in with us about 8 years ago. We also don't have any credit card issues as my parents sort out everything to do with my Nan's finances as she is no longer capable of understanding. The issue of safety does bother me though as she is at the house on her own quite a bit during the day as my parents both work full-time and we've come home a few times to find religious types in the front room and being shown around the house. She also sleeps a lot during the day and is rarely woken when we enter the room which makes the house an easy target for burglars etc as we cannot lock her in for obvious reasons.

    Earlier today my Nan became convinced that she had worked with Julia (or Nadia) Sawalha - whichever one presents the luchtime programme on life abroad. My Dad did try to say it wasn't possible but my Nan then just said she must have been a regular in the shop! She also thought she'd gone to school with Matthew Kelly a while back after seeing him on the TV. It interests me whether she recognises the faces if these people (from tv obviously) but just cant place them correctly or whether perhaps they do actually look like people she once knew - and she is now not able to tell whether it is them or not. HAs anyone else had any similar experiences?

  11. Nutty Nan

    Nutty Nan Registered User

    Nov 2, 2003
    Dear Emma,
    You mention something that has puzzled me for a long time: my husband often doesn't recognise our own road, yet we might be driving somewhere neither of us has ever been before and he could say "I always like coming here. See that lady over there with her dog? She is always on that corner when we come by". Equally, he often does not recognise neighbours and friends, on bad days even members of the family, yet he will insist that he worked with certain people, especially on TV, or knows them from his days when he lived at home (with his parents in London / well over 40 years ago!!). He used to sing and entertain for a living, and tells wonderful stories of when he sang with Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, etc., had conversations with them, and even insists that they gave them presents (such as "this tape", or "this book" etc.).
    It's all a bit far-fetched and chronologically quite impossible, and this can be quite embarrassing when people are with us who do not know the situation very well, but I have got used to turning a blind eye and deaf ear. Let's face it: what difference does it make?!
    What I wonder about, though, is whether, as you say, the facts are just a bit muddled, or could it be that my husband makes an effort to fabricate interesting stories in order to be sociable and have a valuable part in our conversations? It is for that reason that I think it is so important not to try and 'put them right'. They deserve to be listened to!
    Must go. All the best.
  12. Izzy

    Izzy Volunteer Moderator

    Aug 31, 2003
    Hi there

    Although my husband isn't all that advanced in terms of AD I find your posts interesting. He has mentioned on several occasions places he's been to in the past and I'm really not sure whether he's been to them or not - he certainly never mentioned them in our past years! He did his national service in Korea and he did visit Japan and he obviously sailed out there on a troop ship. He has now, however, mentioned things like being on the Great Wall of China when he was out there. This may well have been the case but I'm just not entirely convinced. Everything he has said is actually possible but as he never talked about them in the past it has made me wonder. Maybe I'm being unfair! However, as you say, Carmen - what difference does it make!!

  13. emscub

    emscub Registered User

    Dec 5, 2003
    Thanks for sharing your experiences.

    I know it makes no difference - it's only that I personally find it quite interesting and wonder what causes the thoughts.

    My Nan often partakes in conversations and produces statements that are quite possible (especially to a visitor) but that we know are untrue. I do think that she does this - as you say Izzy - just to be sociable and we don't tend to say anything as it hurts no-one. It's just something I find interesting about my Nan's behaviour. We tend to notice it most when someone is visiting as she doesn't tend to speak to us in that way. It's only when someone asks her how she is etc. that it becomes clear how confused she is, as she is now quite settled into a daily routine and has to do very little for herself so normally copes well with everyday life.

  14. Ruthie

    Ruthie Registered User

    Jul 9, 2003
    South Coast
    My husband also had "invented memories". One of his best came after watching a programme about the First World War, when he launched into his reminiscences of being in that war and said "we lost of lot of the lads". He was born in 1943!

    I started to say that it was his dad who was in WW1, not him - but my son quietly said "Leave it mum - it doesn't matter" - and he was right of course.

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