Blue Badge scheme

Discussion in 'Health and wellbeing' started by CollegeGirl, Jan 13, 2012.

  1. CollegeGirl

    CollegeGirl Registered User

    Jan 19, 2011
    9,525
    North East England
    :confused:Hi again

    I've been advised by the dementia advisory service that my dad has just been to see regarding my mam, to apply for a blue badge for their car.

    But I've just been on the website and it seems that having Alzheimer's or other dementia does not mean they would be eligible. I don't think they're in receipt of any benefits, mam isn't blind (although does have some strange sight problems which makes me wonder if she can't see very well) and her mobility is fairly good, although she did have a bad fall just before Christmas which resulted in a suspected broken nose. She walks slowly and we are now in constant fear of her tripping, but otherwise her mobility seems okay.

    I don't know whether to bother to apply for a blue badge, or if it's even necessary at the moment. I tried to ask dad about it yesterday but he said he didn't have time to talk to me.

    What do you think?
     
  2. Katrine

    Katrine Registered User

    Jan 20, 2011
    2,839
    England
    Yes you can apply. Just play up the mobility issues (regular falls, dizzy spells) and the vision problems. Also you can explain that the person has to be helped in and out, and guided, because of their dementia. This means that, e.g. they cannot be dropped off while a driver goes to park, because they are in danger from wandering off or walking into the road.

    Just make a big deal out of her frailty, even though at present you might feel the risks are not that great. You'll get the badge for a 2-year period and the chances are (sorry to say) that things may well deteriorate in that time.

    You can add that you have been recommended to apply by the dementia advisory service and give contact details.

    I have found the Blue Badge people to be very helpful. It's not as if they are benefits guards, it's not really about money is it? They are keen to ensure that everyone who needs the service can access it.
     
  3. CollegeGirl

    CollegeGirl Registered User

    Jan 19, 2011
    9,525
    North East England
    Thank you Katrine for your very helpful reply, and so quickly too! I think I will ring them up rather than doing it online, because it sounds as if you speak to a real person there is more chance to explain the situation.

    Many thanks!
     
  4. Haylett

    Haylett Registered User

    Feb 4, 2011
    1,145
    Hi Collegegirl

    Mum and MIL were turned down for BB so don't despair if it happens to you. I sought the help of Citizen's Advice and was then successful - Katrine's right, you need to play on the physical disability more - although another colleague told me that people with dementia ARE now eligible for BBs. So if you don't get it, suggest you make an appointment to see Citizen's Advice and let them apply on your/your parents' behalf. H
     
  5. creativesarah

    creativesarah Registered User

    I have got one as my balance is affected by dementia
    I take tablets everyday for it but somedays my balance isnt too bad but you have to think about the worst days and stress those
    Hope you meet with success
    Sarah
     
  6. Dill

    Dill Registered User

    Feb 26, 2011
    355
    England
    Hi
    My Dad had a Blue Badge because of Alzheimers and not able to walk too far, he was in his 80s. We applied because of hospital/doctor appointments when only one of us was able to accompany him. He would have wandered away if dropped off or worse, ask someone and disappear from the place we arranged to meet.
    Please apply for one, I'm sure your Mum meets the eligibility criteria. Let us know how you get on.
     
  7. carpe diem

    carpe diem Registered User

    Nov 16, 2011
    433
    Bristol
    Hi. I applied for a blue badge online and the nice lady rang me to discuss mums problems and she said she would issue one as it appears we have a lot of problems, it seemed to be at her discretion.
    But do state any problems as they are on a bad day. I just wrote mum had bad ankles, diabetes, arthritis and couldn't remember where she left the car if it was not near by. Though my mum has more mental problems than physical ones I think the lady was very sympathetic.
    Dizzy spells from medication, a bad back and not knowing the time for the parking meter could all go in her favour. Good luck.
     
  8. Jancis

    Jancis Registered User

    Jun 30, 2010
    2,567
    Hampshire
    I think it's well worth applying for a blue badge. If your mother is mobile that doesn't mean she doesn't need assistance where it's available. Anyone who has an illness that is potentially life threatening will be considered. My husband was awarded one because he has a heart condition and often he gets strange looks because he's not in a wheelchair.
     
  9. tre

    tre Registered User

    Sep 23, 2008
    1,353
    Herts
    I applied after David broke his hip and we were successful but then even when he could walk again having it has been a godsend. The most important thing I think is to get over you cannot drop off and park the car as the sufferer must have someone with them- it would be like leaving a toddler. Having said that I get totally fed up when all the disabled spaces are full with enormously big 4x4 type vehicles from which my husband would not have a hope of climbing in or out of but we need the extra space as the car door needs to be open really wide for him to get in or out. I think lots of people are cheating and as for the ones using supermarket disabled spaces because they are only going to pop in and out in a few minutes- well exactly the thing you cannot do if you are disabled -well i'd give them 24 hours in leg irons. Sorry for this rant but it does wind me up. I do understand some of the 4x4 users may have a disabled child they can lift in and out but the parking warden also thinks there are many cheats. I could not ever park in a disabled space when I do not have my husband with me as I know how it feels when you really need a space and there are none.
    David recovered from his hip but is now registered blind so we have kept the badge.
    People at my support group have mixed experiences- some dementia sufferers get a badge no problem- others have to fight- postcode lottery again.
    Try again and think about the worst days when you give the answers
    Tre
     
  10. Lotti

    Lotti Registered User

    Jul 31, 2007
    52
    #10 Lotti, Jan 13, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2012
    Hi,
    In our case mum has glaucoma, blind in one eye, cannot get in and out of a vehicle by herself and only shuffles when on her feet, advanced stages, numerous falls resulting in broken bones and we were refused. If I have to take mum to opthalmology appointment at the hospital unless I pay for a carer from the residential (emi) home to go with me I have to book ambulance transport which means having to sit around and be ready two hours in advance. We were told if we got her registered as being blind we should be ok, but the consultant says the only way he could certify that was to give mum anesthetic to be able to examine her due to her non concordance, which we her family are not prepared to put her through.
    I agree with the other replies in that you have to put the worst case scenario.
    Lotti
     
  11. Katrine

    Katrine Registered User

    Jan 20, 2011
    2,839
    England
    You seem to have been very unlucky Lotti and I would recommend appealing as your mum sounds completely eligible. I really wish you luck with this. The suggestion to use the CAB to help sounds good too.

    Tre, I know that you meant you would not want to break the rules, but your statement is also one of fact in terms of the law, so you also wouldn't want to risk a fine. ;) You are not allowed to use the Blue Badge when the badge holder is not with you, even if you are doing a mission of mercy to see the GP or collect a prescription. You can park in a disabled space if you are collecting the person, so that you can bring them to the car.
     
  12. CollegeGirl

    CollegeGirl Registered User

    Jan 19, 2011
    9,525
    North East England
    Hi everyone and thank you for your replies. I'm just not sure what to do, now. If Lotti's poor mum didn't get one I don't think my mam has a cat-in-you-know-where's chance of getting one. Mobility wise she's really not bad. I think I'd feel awful trying to make out that she's worse than she is. I know she had the fall before Christmas but I think that was a one-off (hope it was anyway).

    Also, call me dense, but I'm a bit confused when looking at the on-line information. It's my mam who has the Alzheimer's, yet they want the driving licence number and national insurance number. Whose numbers do I give? Mam hasn't driven for a couple of years now, although she might still technically have her driving licence. I don't think they've informed the DVLA as such, she's just stopped driving. Would I give my dad's number?

    Does she still have a National Insurance number? I suppose she does, is this a daft question? I've no idea what it is, neither will she, and I don't know if dad will know where to get the information from.

    They also want a passport photograph. Why is this? I don't think I've got a chance of getting that. I don't think mam would co-operate to go in one of those booths.

    It's tiring me out just thinking about it all. And I thought this would be the simple thing to do from the list that the dementia advisory service gave me of things to organise!

    Thank you everyone for all your help and suggestions. As always, they are much appreciated.
     
  13. FifiMo

    FifiMo Registered User

    Feb 10, 2010
    4,710
    Wiltshire
    Collegegirl,

    I think the bit you were reading relates to someone who is disabled applying for a badge for themselves where they can still drive. I would put a note with your application to say that it is being submitted due to a recent incident where you had to drop your mother off (because of her inability to walk far) but when you had parked the car and returned she was missing. Say that it took ages to find her and when you did, she had had a fall. From a dementia perspective the problem is that they have no awareness of hazards (eg cars), have no recognition of where they are, cannot remember even simple instructions (eg wait here), has no ability to give information even if a stranger stopped to help her. Say that without the blue badge you will be unable to function and will have to rely on official transport and supply of carers to be able to take her anywhere - all of which cost the local authorities money.

    I just recently applied for a blue badge for my mother and all that I needed to submit was my vehicle registration number (because the badge has to be given for a primary vehicle that the person will use, you can use it in all vehicles but it is registered to one, if that makes sense).

    With regards to the photographs, the SW took a picture of her then printed it off and cut it down to around passport size. The council were fine with this, especially when it was explained that there was no way that my mum had the dexterity to be able to get into a photobooth. The photograph is required because it becomes part of the blue badge and the rules are that the person who's photograph is there must be present with you when you park in a disabled bay - so you can't use the blue badge for anyone else..

    I would just apply and make the compelling case and make sure that they understand the consequences of not giving you one (eg that they will have to do the fetching and carrying and supply of additional support, when she is required to attend here there and ever for appointments etc.).

    Good luck

    Fiona
     
  14. Dill

    Dill Registered User

    Feb 26, 2011
    355
    England
    With regards to the photo required, Dad used one that he had from applying for his bus pass, I think. Anyway it was an awful one of him with his eyes shut, looked as if he was asleep,:eek: they still accepted it as we said it was difficult to get him into a photo booth, too confusing.
     
  15. tre

    tre Registered User

    Sep 23, 2008
    1,353
    Herts
    I know I am not to park in a disabled space unless I am transporting my husband which is why I do not but I am sure there is abuse of the scheme either by people doing just that or by using fake badges. I think there is a move to get over this by having some sort of chip in the newer badges. My father got a new one recently which has this. Incidently, dad is unable to drive but there was not a problem getting his badge as he has rheumatoid arthritis.
    Tre
     
  16. CollegeGirl

    CollegeGirl Registered User

    Jan 19, 2011
    9,525
    North East England
    Hi Fiona, Dill and Tre, thank you for your responses.

    Fiona, I'm sorry but I'm a rubbish liar, I couldn't possibly make up a story like this. I don't mind exaggerating slightly and concentrating on a worst day scenario, but couldn't fabricate a completely untrue story. I know you're trying to suggest things for the best for me but I just can't do it. Mam is still aware enough to watch what she's doing when she crosses the road, her fall I think was because she tripped on the kerb, or possibly her shoes were a little slack and she stumbled - or perhaps her eyesight is failing a little, who knows? I appreciate your suggestions though, thank you.

    Dill, I did wonder about her bus pass photo, that's a possibility.

    Tre, I knew what you meant about not parking in a disabled space when your hubby is not with you. Unfortunately I see lots of what look like perfectly able bodied people parking in disabled spaces, dashing into the shops to make a quick transaction, etc. I know that sometimes someone who appears to be able bodied may be perfectly entitled to park there for some reason that is not obvious, but I too am sure that there is a lot of cheating going on, either people who just don't care that they're taking up a disabled space that someone else might need, or someone who has a blue badge for a relative but who abuses the scheme by using the badge even when the relative is not with them. I couldn't do it either.

    (On the other hand, I do find it frustrating when I go to work and struggle to find a parking space in my work's car park and yet there are lots of disabled spaces that are not being used and I have to go elsewhere! However, I accept this and never park in them.)

    On a brighter note, for me at least, my husband has seen how difficult I'm finding this and has said that he will sort the blue badge out for them so that's something I can stop worrying about now!

    Thanks again everyone for your very helpful advice and suggestions. What would I do without you?
     
  17. CollegeGirl

    CollegeGirl Registered User

    Jan 19, 2011
    9,525
    North East England
    Thought I'd just give you an update. Hubby went through the application for a blue badge online, but it ended up saying that my mam would have to be taken for an assessment. When he told my dad this, dad said not to bother as he was not prepared to do that.

    I'm very slowly learning that we can't force dad to do anything he doesn't want to. All we can do is to help out as best we can and let him make his own choices, however frustrating that is.

    I just hate watching him struggle when I know there's help out there.
     
  18. Katrine

    Katrine Registered User

    Jan 20, 2011
    2,839
    England
    I wouldn't give up - I would still encourage you to telephone the Blue Badge people at your parents' local council. My mum didn't have an assessment. I think they asked for a photocopy of the letter granting her higher rate Attendance Allowance, and I also enclosed a copy of a consultant's letter, plus the contact details for her psychiatrist. The badge came through quite quickly so they must have thought this was sufficient evidence to support MY information explaining why she had mobility and safety problems.

    Online applications are OK as far as they go, but whether or not someone is entitled to a Blue Badge can be a matter of interpretation at their end, which is greatly assisted by a two-way conversation. For a start, what is this 'assessment' that she would be required to undertake? That's a good question to ask on the phone because it might just actually mean that they would be happy for her GP to write confirming the facts as stated in her application for the Blue Badge.

    As I think I indicated before, although the staff administering this scheme have a duty to ensure that people do not obtain badges when they shouldn't, equally they want everyone who would genuinely benefit from the scheme to be able to use it. Please make that phone call. Good luck. :)
     
  19. SWMBO1950

    SWMBO1950 Registered User

    Nov 17, 2011
    2,077
    Essex
    Do apply.............................

    .....and as others have said put down all the problems in a strong way. At the end of the day they will say yes or no so you have nothing to loose. ;)

    Good Luck




     
  20. CollegeGirl

    CollegeGirl Registered User

    Jan 19, 2011
    9,525
    North East England
    Hi and thank you so much for your replies and advice. I'll have a think about telephoning - trouble is I just don't think I'm up to the fight. It would be difficult for hubby to ring as he is working away at the moment so it would be up to me and I don't think I've got it in me to be honest. I appreciate what you're saying, I just don't know if I can do it. That makes me a wuss, right?!
     

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