Is there any help available from social services????

terrym

Registered User
Hi. My father of 79 has been diagnosed with Atzheimer's. He lives at home with my stepmother. She had a stoke a couple of years ago and has since fallen and broken a hip. She is very frail and has no confidence to leave the house. Most days she sits and smokes and drinks gin and vodka as she watches both the TV and the neighbours come and go. Dad has a terrier that he still takes for a walk twice a day (or more when he forgets he's just been). He was recently assaulted on his door step after he allowed the dog to poo in the wrong place. Someone rubbed dog**** in his face. Luckily, he had forgotten about it in half an hour.

He has dramatic mood swings and is now using increasingly foul and racist language to his neighbours and their small children. He is deaf in one ear. They do no housework and the place is absolutely filthy and covered in dog hair. My sister and I go to hoover once a week now. They had a bed bug infestation that we are still dealing with via Rentokil.

My stepmother finally agreed that my sister and I can contact Merton Social Services on their behalf to maybe ask about home helps or something. They responded by sending a list of approved cleaning contractors and promised, weeks ago, to send someone round to assess them for carers allowance. (Apparently they might both be able to claim to "care" for each other!). No-one has been in touch.

My parents' situation has all the elements of a tragedy waiting to happen. Do we have to wait until someone dies before they get help? I can't believe an ex-soldier and tax-payer is treated this way in the 21st Century.
 

jenniferpa

Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
39,448
Hi and welcome to Talking Point.

I can't even begin to imagine what your family are going through, so I'll confine myself to practical suggestions. First off - who were social services supposed to be contacting? Because if it was your parents (I know one of them is a step, but this is just a convenient way of referring to them) there's a very good change that they have done and been told to go away - that happens a lot. If SS were supposed to be contacting you, then you need to chase them.

Carer's allowance - well no, it wouldn't be that, that's only for carers under 65. What I suspect that they are talking about is Attendance Allowance. Now that, yes, both of them should be eligible for that, possibly at the highest rate. You don't have to wait for social services though - you can download the forms from http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/DisabledPeople/FinancialSupport/AttendanceAllowance/DG_10012442 However, you might need some assistance to fill them out - it is important NOT to minimise needs when doing this. Itmight be a good idea to call and ask for them ASAP - claims cannot be backdated past the date of the initial contact.

If your parents are paying council tax, your father may be eligible to be discounted due to his diagnosis. If you need further info about that just let us know.
 

ishard

Registered User
Jul 10, 2007
98
Have you also thought Terri that you could get the carers allawance for looking after both of them?
 

BeverleyY

Registered User
Jan 29, 2008
716
Ashford, Kent
You can only get carers allowance if you have no other income. We looked at this before, and despite the fact that I was at the time not working, but did have a nominal income from an old business interest, the answer was no.. hence.. I went back to work.

They maybe entitled to attendance allowance, and if they have joint savings of less than circa £42,000 then they will also be entitled to Direct Payments which contribute towards carers/domestic help etc.

Beverley
 

Margarita

Registered User
Feb 17, 2006
10,824
london
(Apparently they might both be able to claim to "care" for each other!). No-one has been in touch.



You can't do that .

also they won't get in touch , you have to keep ringing them .

and no matter how many people in a family you care for you can you can only claim One Carers allowances

As in I claim carers allowances for my mother , I can not make another claim for my brother also who has a disability .

SS can bring in carer from an agencey that would clean your parents house , after they have done an assessment on them .

Carer's allowance - well no, it wouldn't be that, that's only for carers under 65.
and it would be a better idea that you make the claim for the carer allowance, ( as like Jennifer says ) Even if you don't live with them you can still make the claim .


if you can not claim it because you work , so no one claim it .

your parents would get more money on they pension credit, if they claim pension credit , but they must be claiming AA at the same time .

so you have to inform pension credit that your parent are getting AA and no one is claiming carer allowance . in doing that your parents get around £30 or £40 more on they pension credit .

( the extra money come from a benefit called severe disability premium)

Do we have to wait until someone dies before they get help?
I don't like to say this , but yes that could happen . That why you have to keep ringing SS for them . stressing how bad the situation has became for them both .

Just keep on at them in an assertive way the urgency of it all
 
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Skye

Registered User
Aug 29, 2006
17,000
SW Scotland
Carer's allowance - well no, it wouldn't be that, that's only for carers under 65. What I suspect that they are talking about is Attendance Allowance. Now that, yes, both of them should be eligible for that, possibly at the highest rate. You don't have to wait for social services though - you can download the forms from http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/DisabledPeople/FinancialSupport/AttendanceAllowance/DG_10012442 However, you might need some assistance to fill them out - it is important NOT to minimise needs when doing this. Itmight be a good idea to call and ask for them ASAP - claims cannot be backdated past the date of the initial contact.
Terry, Jennifer's absolutely right. You should download two forms, and fill in one for each of your parents. It would help if you could get someone from your local branch of Alzheimer's Society or Princess Royal Trust to help you I'm not suggesting that you can't fill in forms, but they know how to angle the answers to make sure your parents get what they are entitled to.

You also need to say that they needed help six month ago, as even when the claims are accepted, they only start to pay six months after the start of need.

If you can't download the forms, either organisation will be able to get them for you.

Your parents can then use the money to buy in some help.

Good luck, and let us know how you get on.
 

Cliff

Registered User
Jun 29, 2007
777
North Wales
Hello Terry,

Very simply, you need advice. As Skye (Hazel) says: Try to track down the Alzheimers Society in you area and talk to them and anyone else associated with Dementia in your patch.

If that fails, keep posting here there is a lot of help available,

Best wishes
 

alfjess

Registered User
Jul 10, 2006
1,213
south lanarkshire
Hi

I found the Alzheimers welfare benefit section excellent.

A staff member visited within days of my enquiry, had all the relevant forms with him, completed the forms, even posted them and lo and behold, Mum and Dad were awarded more benefits.

Alfjess
 

lesmisralbles

Account Closed
Nov 23, 2007
5,543
What are direct payment's

You can only get carers allowance if you have no other income. We looked at this before, and despite the fact that I was at the time not working, but did have a nominal income from an old business interest, the answer was no.. hence.. I went back to work.

They maybe entitled to attendance allowance, and if they have joint savings of less than circa £42,000 then they will also be entitled to Direct Payments which contribute towards carers/domestic help etc.

Beverley
Please tell me
Barb X
 

heartbroken

Registered User
Feb 17, 2008
747
derbyshire
Direct payments

My step mum is on this the sw assessed her and said she and dad needed help 21hrs a week he sent off the forms and each month money goes into a special account for her to employ someone to go in and help, that someone is me, but you can advertise for anyone you want. it can be reassesed any time to see if more or less is need my sw has said this week it would be good if someone else comes in for 2hrs a week so my step mum can get used to them, then I can take the 4weeks a year hol I'm entitled to and the other person could come in and take my place because they would know her.
 

jenniferpa

Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
39,448
The problem with direct payments at the moment is that some local authorities will refuse to offer it to people with dementia. It's all down to where you live.
 

heartbroken

Registered User
Feb 17, 2008
747
derbyshire
I can see why. we have big problems in the fact that Edna should sign the forms and often refuses too, plus if a letter comes ie my time sheet its in her name so she opens it and because she doesn't understands it, it gets hidden, so I can see why as its for people that can work things out themselves
 

Margarita

Registered User
Feb 17, 2006
10,824
london
local authorities will refuse to offer it to people with dementia. It's all down to where you live.

They can try , but if you no your rights they can not refuse to give it to you


http://64.233.183.104/search?q=cache:KC1Qvd1AWncJ:bre.berr.gov.uk/regulation/documents/pst/pdf/dirpay.pdf+direct+payments+at+the+moment+is+that+some+local+authorities+will+refuse+to+offer+it+to+people+with+dementia.&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=3&client=safari


10. In April 2003 the Government changed the law so it is now a duty on local
councils to make direct payments, not just a power. Anyone who is assessed
as needing care or support can have a direct payment instead of a standard
community care service (i.e. one commissioned or provided by the
local authority).

11. Each local authority has a duty to offer Direct Payments to all those who are
potentially eligible. Local authorities can no longer choose to make Direct
Payments available only to certain groups.
12. Service users using Direct Payments must be prepared to be assessed and
manage the purchasing of their own services. Users must agree to and sign
a contract to enable the local authority to monitor the services that
are purchased.
Page 6
‘MAKING A DIFFERENCE’ Direct Payments
5
How should Direct Payments work in practice?

13. In choosing Direct Payments the individual takes greater responsibility for
administration and employment of personal assistance, and is able to
exercise choice over whom to employ, the work that is done, and how,
when and where it is delivered.
The person may take responsibility directly,
or may get help to exercise that choice and to administer the services.
Direct Payments can be used to employ people to help prepare meals, do
housework and laundry, go shopping or to provide translation and signing
services. In short, in any way that meets a person’s assessed needs.
 
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jenniferpa

Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
39,448
I'm sorry Maggie, but while that's true for everyone else, it is NOT true if you have dementia. Currently LAs can say that since you need to be able to manage the funds, if you don't have capacity you can't have direct payments. Now a lot of LAs don't take that stance but some do - have you not been following Grommit's saga over this? There is proposed legislation about this very issue, but nothing yet. See here http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/SocialCare/Socialcarereform/Personalisation/Directpayments/DH_080266
 
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lesmisralbles

Account Closed
Nov 23, 2007
5,543
What does a carers assessment involve ?

I have been asked by Ron's social worker to have an assessment for my self, as I am the sole carer of Ron. How will this benefit Ron ? As I said, we, Ron and I would like choice of how Ron is cared for.
Thanks
Barb:)
 

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
70,347
Kent
I had a carer`s assessment Barb, but they closed the file as I couldn`t avail myself of anything they had to offer.

I was offered day care for Dhiren.
 

jenniferpa

Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
39,448
Barb - it varies a lot by area. Some local authorities have a fair amount of assistance they can offer while others have little. The primary advantage in having an assessment done is that it may open some doors that wouldn't otherwise be open particularly with regard to volunteer organisations. Let's put it this way - I wouldn't get my hopes up too far, but I would have it done just in case. You may not wish to avail yourself of the options offered (such as respite) but you won't really know what those options are until you have the assessment.
 

Skye

Registered User
Aug 29, 2006
17,000
SW Scotland
Barb, I had a carers' assessment, and it made a huge difference. For a start, I got Crossroads for two afternoons a week to enable me to get out and talk to people.

As John deteriorated, I had a review, and John got daycare, and the offer of respite. These were offered as support for me, to enable me to carry on caring.

You don't have to accept anything, but it's a good idea to see what's on offer.

love,