Hi, I’ve been asked to do this thread specifically.
At the risk of boring anyone, here goes.
A lot of you will already know about Direct Payments, but some may not, or may be daunted by the subject of applying for them.
Here’s my story.
Almost 25 years ago now… chuffin eck!..I was a fit and healthy 40 year old. I was in the prime of my life, after losing around 7 stones in weight, having a boob lift, being promoted at work, passing my driving test and getting my own car. The kids were growing up, hubby was happy and all was well chez nous.
Five years later I began falling over, putting weight back on and feeling less energetic. I eventually saw my GP who sent me to see a neurologist.
Moving on from there… I took ill health retirement from work, my mobility worsened, spasms hit and bowel and bladder problems progressed too.
My hubby became my carer, seeing to my personal care, taking over all household tasks, as it was just too much for me to manage.
I was wrongly diagnosed with MS for 10 years. That’s why you find me still lurking around these boards!
Then I got the unproven diagnosis I have now. Idiopathic/hereditary spastic paraplegia…HSP.
So by now, hubby had been my sole carer for 11 years. His rheumatoid arthritis was really taking a hold on him and I knew things had to change.
So I found out about Direct Payments. I applied for an assessment. Hubby was not at all happy and said it was his job to look after me. But no, I felt guilty, a burden and responsible for his worsening health.
I had the assessment and was given 8 hours a week care. I employed a qualified carer who was highly recommended by a friend. That carer has been with me ever since. Some of you may recognise her as my Bev…in fact I’ve spoken so highly of her, that I’ve had several requests for a cloned version of the lovely Beverley.
I also set my sister and her friend on, just to see if they wanted a few hours work, after they’d retired from their regular jobs. They worked for me for 5 years!!!
So now I have 26 hours, plus 2 sleepovers a week , shared between Bev and sweet Jayne, from an agency.
What do they do?
They come in daily, do all my personal care, light housework, take me out once a week, plus go on short breaks with me.
What does all this do?
It gives hubby a well deserved break from me and I thoroughly enjoy my carers’ company and we have become friends.
I heartily recommend everyone to think about Direct Payments, if you find yourselves struggling under the weight of looking after each other.