1. Expert Q&A: Benefits - Weds 23 October, 3-4pm

    Our next expert Q&A will be on the topic of benefits. It will be hosted by Lauren from our Knowledge Services team. She'll be answering your questions on Wednesday 23 October between 3-4pm.

    You can either post your question >here< or email them to us at talkingpoint@alzheimers.org.uk and we'll be happy to ask them on your behalf.

  1. LynneMcV

    LynneMcV Volunteer Moderator

    May 9, 2012
    south-east London
    Just sharing a little eye-opener I had a few days ago when I took part in a carers' conference in my area.

    All in all it was a great experience, I learnt a lot, met some great people and came away feeling that I had been listened to and was much more positive about what resources and help is available (and there really is a lot more than I knew about, so no grumbles there!)

    During one of the talks the person in charge mentioned that as soon as the cared for person was assessed as having two areas of specific need (their criteria) then the resources would quickly be available to them through the Council.

    On the face of it this sounded reasonable, given the massive cuts in funding local authorities up and down the country have been facing and continue to face.

    Anyway, during the networking section I tracked down an occupational therapist to see if I could get some help and advice with making our loo easier for my husband to use (he is starting to find it too low).

    The OT was very helpful and showed me a range of things available and which I had already looked at online and been advised about by helpful folk on Talking Point.

    Could I arrange for someone to come and look at our tiny loo and suggest what might work best? I asked.

    That's where the eye-opener came in.

    Did my husband have any other personal hygiene need such as taking a bath?
    - No, he doesn't take a bath, he always showers.
    Is it a flat based shower?
    - No it is over the bath.
    Does he have trouble getting into/out of the bath?
    - He did, but I had grab rails fitted last year and he is fine now.
    Can he stand ok - perhaps he needs a bath board to sit on?
    - No, he is steady on his feet and I have a bath board already in anticipation of that day coming.
    Would he benefit from steps to get him in and out of the bath?
    - In time, yes and I have some ready for when that day comes.

    In short, his only need at this time is something to help him get on and off the loo such as grab rails.

    And there lies the problem, my husband has one specific need not two (their criteria) so we need to sort it ourselves not through the council.

    Don't get me wrong, I have no problem with financing and sourcing what is needed because as far as I am concerned that is what my husband's PIP is for. However, it does beg the question of quite how this service can be accessed.

    As a carer would it really have been responsible of me to let my husband struggle without grab rails in the bathroom for a year, patiently waiting for a second need to present itself in order to access Council services?

    Of course not! I, like other carers, identify the need and get it sorted out at the time - we don't sit and wait for multiple needs to surface first before taking action.

    So, I am resigned to carrying on as we are, identifying problem areas and taking our own steps to solve them.

    I have no anger about it, just surprise at how a system can sound reasonable on the surface - but pretty useless when you actually try to use it :)
  2. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    That sounds strange to me. Our OT came out without knowing how much or little help we needed, just checked out the flat, identified three areas of need and was able to help with two of them. One was a shower board, the other a grab rail next to the loo. I can't see how she could have refused help if only a grabrail would have been necessary!
  3. Selinacroft

    Selinacroft Registered User

    Oct 10, 2015
    I agree that sounds strange. Dad has had many OT visits and each time they take a little tour and mental note of what he has and hasn't got or may need in addition. I've never heard of needing two things at a time.
    How can they assess if he would benefit from grab rails in certain places unless they watch him get around at home? Surely it is their expertise that enables them to make recommendations that perhaps us mere carers wouldn't have thought about?
  4. sleepless

    sleepless Registered User

    Feb 19, 2010
    The Sweet North
    This is strange in my opinion, but not strange in my experience.
    When we had a visit from an OT we were supplied with handrails, and a wheeled commode (to use as a chair, not a commode, which is as well, as there was a hole in the potty.)
    I told the OT we were having the bath out/walk-in shower put in, and he offered a shower stool. As my husband has no problem standing, I delayed this, also to check sizes etc when the shower was completed.

    Several weeks later, shower up and running, still no need for a stool, but I thought I'd get it and have it ready.

    I rang the OT and he said exactly what you are saying Lynn.
    I would have to have two pieces of equipment and the 'case' would need to be reopened, as it had been signed off.

    Looked online and bought a very nice, very adaptable shower stool/chair. Still haven't used it, mind, but it is there ready.

    Really though, I don't think anything surprises me any more.
  5. sleepless

    sleepless Registered User

    Feb 19, 2010
    The Sweet North
    This made me smile, as when we had the OT here, my husband was fast asleep in his chair!

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.