Forum

Little wonder the social care budget is under such strain !!

Hi all

It has taken me nearly two weeks to be able to write this post in a clear manner, without littering it with expletives, such is my frustration with damned policy and short sightedness !!

In a nutshell, the wonderful MrH has worn his big toe joints out, with pushing me around in Maggie, for the last 6 years. That chair (and MrH) has an awful lot of mileage behind her and it’s been a lot of fun !! But fun, it is, no more !!

MrH has to go into hospital in August, to have the first of two metatarsal phalangeal joint fusions, which will effectively leave him immobile for a minimum 8 week period. With no family to help and friends of working age, we find ourselves a wee bit up the proverbial creek. Now internet-shopping is a wonderful thing but occasionally it is nice to escape the confinement and see real people.

So clever old me thinks, aha, our time has come to ask for help from those what help in times of crisis. Ok crisis is maybe a bit amdram but certainly a bit of help wouldn’t go amiss.

So I pick up the bat phone and Hotwire it through to wheelchair services at our local council. Having explained the issue, a rather curt lady explained that she could visit with us, in late August to assess our needs. Perhaps I was having a cogfog moment but I thought I had explained that MrH’s surgery is scheduled for early August. So I tried again. Apparently, wheelchair services aren’t there for my convenience. Who knew ?

After I politely explained that I’d like to speak with one of the long term care social workers, an appointment was thoughtfully provided that week.

I fear that it was the same personality devoid lady, that visited us shortly thereafter because she seemed less than impressed that we may have actually done some research into what would best suit our needs whilst trying not to be too big of a burden or financial drain upon the service.

You see, we would just appreciate some assistance whilst MrH is recuperating and unable to push me. I can’t self propel on flat surfaces, let alone up the incredibly steep hill that we live halfway down. Apparently, we should’ve thought of these practicalities before we moved here. In 2008. 4 years prior to diagnosis. If I was that good, I wouldn’t need their damn help because a winning lottery ticket would’ve been in my sweaty little hand flipping years ago. Oops am I showing a teensy bit of frustration there?

So nice wheelchair lady, please could we just move on from our obvious idiotic lifestyle choice and please, thank you very much, could we grovel for permission to have one of those little motor thingies that power assists existing wheelchairs ? Well apparently no. Because they want to spend several thousands of pounds on supplying me with an electric power chair and building me ramps at the front and back of the house. At which point, I zoned out, assuming that I’d popped one too many gabapentins and slipped into a parallel universe.

MrH says that he tried to explain that the difference in costings equates to several thousand pounds but was met with an attitude that would make the stroppiest teenage girl proud. So he saw fit to invite her to conclude the assessment. On her way out she had a good look at the downstairs conversion that we are having done to turn our forever home into our definitely forever home and commented that as we are obviously ‘doing alright’ we should be able to purchase the device ourselves.

Before I was medically retired, I worked in law and MrH still does. I will leave it to your imagination, as to the comment that slipped from hubbys mouth about the kind of criminals he comes into contact with …

And now that’s off my chest, it’s back to my usual zen like state. There are only so many new profanities to be learnt…

FFS Mrs H, all you want is a bit of support just when you need it and the wheelchair services people put you through the wringer over it. Just what you want! I don’t think. If it were me, the air would be blue.

Gits.

Sue

1 Like

So sorry they sent you and Mr H a muppet instead of a sensible person. Some folks are just in the wrong job, aren’t they? I am very impressed by your measured tone. Bet the first draft didn’t look like that.

Alison

x

1 Like

You have found the flawed logic that is wheelchair services.

First off, your chance of getting a wheelchair by August is pretty slim. Better to look into hiring an electric for a while.

Secondly wheelchair services think in “manual” or electric, the add on motors are a hybrid and sooooo they don’t go there. My manual chair was paid for partly by wheelchair services and later - facing similar situation - I got grants to afford the Benoit Lightdrive - it costs just under £4000. So natch, not available on NHS!!

My advice - if you CAN afford it, go for the add on motor - be aware Maggie may not be up to snuff as regards the specs and may need trading in.

The Benoit comes apart and you don’t need a massive ramp to get in the door. You DO need a able bodied person to assemble tho. Heaviest part weighs 6kg. Which I can just lift, so hubby could prob manage, http://www.benoitsolutions.co.uk/light_drive.html

watch the video - thats my chair.

https://nationalmobilityhire.com/product/electric-wheelchair/ thats for temporary hire, which may be your best bet and would be quickest.

if you decide to plug the grant route see the MS website as well as Grants for Wheelchairs - Step One

2 Likes

Oh they could have it all in place ready for hubby’s op !! It’s just totally unsuitable for us. I’m going to save up for the Smart Drive power assist system for manual wheelchairs, which is perfect for the little bit of extra power we need. I’ve seen it in action and was very impressed !!

Ooh MrsH, I’ve just had a look! Great piece of gear. Any idea how much it costs please?

1 Like

Hi Poppy… about £4,000 which is quite an investment but the way I figure it, an investment that will afford me some independence for an awful lot of years !! Without the need for full power chair, ramps to doors, change of car etc. And I can keep my comfy Maggie with her memory foam ass rester as well as taking it abroad. Winner in my book !!

2 Likes

I agree!

1 Like

I bought one of these very similar the earlier model its brilliant. Mine folds and goes in back of car too so i can go out with my care giver. PA.

I know people cant always afford these things but they do monthly payment scheme and you get VAT relief.

http://www.betterlifehealthcare.com/view/shoprider-vienna-electric-wheelchair/619/

Waste of time going to these wheelchair services. One of my buddies he did, and they lady came out and assessed him and the flat and noted he needed a smaller type.

what arrived but a BEAST, he couldnt even get it in the doors. waste of time.

dont forget too if you have wheelchair and need larger door space etc you get a rebate on your council tax lol.

I hope you get sorted. but either an add on to manual, or if you can buy a small folding electric wheelchair you can get them for cheaper. Poor MrH. You see you were never a push over. xx

2 Likes

MrsH, your comments rang bells for a conversation I had with OT. We wanted to talk with them and get some advice about out plans for a downstairs extension for a wet room and bedroom, just to make sure we hadn’t missed anything. Mrs MS2017 used to work in the community and had seen people who had become ill and could not get upstairs for bed so the lounge or dinning room had become their bedroom and how much it affected family life. So we were doing some forward planning to make sure things ran smoothly in the future, even though I don’t need this right now, but who knows what the future holds. I was basically told that although they agreed that what I was asking for was sensible, because I do not need things from them now they could not help. MS2017

Argh !! The short sightedness is astounding.