I rang Social Servies this morning. You may have guessed that.
You can’t see my posting categories, but this one is in Personal’. And I’m amazed I only swear once.
I asked for a Social Worker, and I asked that the SW give me (us) information. Hah, like it would be that easy.
This woman (I shall call it ‘She’) asked me for lots of info about J, about me, about our situation. I explained about J’s lack of mobility, how walking unaided was now not possible, how stairs were a problem, how hot water was dangerous as J cannot feel it, how the situation has worsended in the last six months. I told her how I felt about things, and I asked that Social Services help.
The SW said that she could get an OT assessment for equipment, but would refer to the Red Cross instead first. She said that assessments could be done and that benefits or assistance in some way could be available, She said that I could ask for carer’s stuff – but I don’t want it. She said that she could not come out just to discuss options and I had to take it all over the phone. She asked if J wanted ‘direct payments’ so that she could pay for carers – I said I didn’t know – she asked if J was there and I said yes – she told me to ask her. I told her that that would be a huge step which needed time and thought – but she wanted a decision there and then. She did not get one. She asked if J had a wheelchair yet – I said no, but it was very much needed. I explained that a wheelchair, for J, would be the same as saying goodbye to her legs and she didn’t want to do that yet even though she can’t walk. SW said to go see the GP for that. I asked about support for housing as we need somewhere else to live – I explained that as we privately rent we cannot use the equipment that will be needed to be installed into the house. She said she could do nothing and told me to check we were correctly listed with the council. Then she said she had to go, and would arrange for the Red Cross to visit. (now ….. so far, has this pathetic excuse for a human said she will do ANYTHING ?). I asked about the OT assessment, but she insisted that we go through the Red Cross – a charity – first. I then pointed out that we have coped with J’s illness now since her diagnosis, we are both not now working, I have to care for J, we have run out of ideas and I didn’t ring right now for a chat, I rang for help. Real proper help. She said the Red Cross would come round, but that it could take 6 weeks, which wasn’t so long. I specifically asked if the Red Cross assessment had any weight – she said No. I asked if Social Services would assess J – the simple fool explained about the OT assessment following the Red Cross assessment. (You know, I hadn’t sworn down the phone, even by now). I then asked AGAIN if she could arrange a formal proper assessment of J’s needs. And she tells me that J is entitled to a care assessment if she wants one. I say yes, she does. Ah, says she, but you are the carer, you cannot speak for the person to be assessed and if that person is likely at all to refuse the assessment, it’s not worth sending anyone out to do it. I say J is fine, it needs to happen, it must happen. The moronic one again asks if J is there – I say yes, she can’t walk without me so she is (has she not listened ?) – and that J will let the assessment happen. Again, I say yes.
I asked about housing. She said she could not help – wasn’t their department. I put it to her that WHEN the OT assessment says we need equipment, and IF J’s needs are so bad AND the landlady says we cannot adapt the house and we then have to leave, what would happen.
She tells me that we would then be treated as homeless and moved to anywhere suitable, probably a B&B. I asked how a B&B could be considered a suitable place to live for someone unable to walk. I was reassured that there was a roof involved, and it would be above our heads. Ta.
I put it to her that even though we qualify for a housing waiting list, that even though a consultant, a gp, an ms nurse and an OT assessment will indicate we need somewhere else to live, that they will not lift a single finger to help and even if (when ?) we become homeless or unable to cope here, they still will do as little as they can possibly get away with. She wasn’t too pleased with that appraisal.
I then got a guarantee that she has referred J to the Red Cross, and that a SW will come and do the assessment. She did not give a date.
Rang the coucil too. Nothing available, and no bungalows can be given to under-60’s anyway. I pointed out that such a policy was ageist – and to his credit the guy agreed, but you never talk to the councillor tossers who set these rules do you ?
So compared to this morning, how far ahead are we ? I reckon we are in exactly the same position. Sure, other will know soon enough, but if they won’t act on that, what’s the point ?
Am I moaning ? Yes and no. Sure, buried somewhere in this entry is some self-pity for us both – but I think I’m allowed that. What’s annoying is that if J had had an accident and this had suddenly happened, then people would have come out from the woodwork to help. We would have had someone to sue to help with equipment (we have to buy it it if the Red Cross say we need it apparently), insurances would have paid out. But with the ms ? No-one is bothered.
I miss my wife.
I miss walking down the road holding her hand.
And inside J is a huge feeling of guilt. I see the cracks at times. She feels guilty that what is happening to her is hitting us all, not just emotionally, but practically too. She feels guilty that if it wasn’t for her she thinks we would have a better life.
You know, I just realised, the SW never asked if we were okay, coping, or how we were feeling.
I’ve said it before, but I certainly feel like I’m strapped in and heading toward the scene of the accident. And so is J – but she feels that she is in the driving seat.
I know many many other people are in much worse situations than us, and I’m not saying we are special or deserve anything more, but .. well .. I had thought it would be different.
Ain’t life shit at times.