Friday, 16 November 2007

The Community Psychiatric Nurse

The male Community Psychiatric Nurse - has been of some help. After MyMan finally decided that maybe this was a resource that we should use he duly made an appointment. I had to make myself available to help him travel to the local area community mental health team.

The CPN cannot understand why he does not receive the full rate of Disability Living Allowance benefit. MyMan knows he gets DLA but couldn't remember the details [full Mobility level but low for personal care]. He was told to call at the local Jobcentre Plus to acquire a DLA application form. To fill in as much as possible and take it with him when he went to see the CPN a week later. As he is unable to concentrate we have done the form together. I've written in all the details.

It has depressed him [well, ok, the two of us] even further to fill in the form. To admit on paper just what you are unable to do for yourself is profoundly depressing. This is just on the physical aspects. We haven't yet touched on the mental health side. Over the last 5 years or more we have skimmed over the worst of his problems on the grounds that we hoped it was short term problem. But how long is short term before it turns into long term - or permanent? He is unable to bring himself to admit that if I wasn't around he would not manage without a great deal of input from someone. He needs help for so many tasks. When I have taken myself for a short break away he barely manages to wash and feed himself. The effort to keep going without me exhausts him. We then take months for him to recover and return to his version of an 'even keel'. This time we are taking more time and paying attention to the detail when completing this form.

The top rate for DLA is not much. But it will help reduce the need to pay out of our hard earned 'retirement savings' for treatments which are not covered by the NHS. He has deep tissue massage every 3 weeks but ideally weekly would be more beneficial and regular treatment from a chiropractor. The over 60's free bus pass is of no use as he needs to go by car - door to door. If I'm unavailable and he doesn't feel well enough to drive himself then it needs to be a taxi.

We are collecting together all the 'evidence' from numerous medical assessments and the form should be in the post by the end of this week. It is an exercise that has taken us several hours over 2 weeks to complete. I wonder whether the civil servant who will read it really understands just how demoralising and depressing this whole exercise has been for 2 previously independent hard working people to request this assistance.


menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

Just read these last three posts. How do you do it? I am in awe of your patience and compassion.

Nice to see you posting again as I popped by a few times to see what was happening.

It can be very demoralising to have to complete forms for just about everything. They are tedious and time consuming and invasive of your personal life. But if in the end you achieve something that will ease things somewhat and you get additional help that doesn't eat into your savings then so be it.

Good luck with it.

Robert said...

I've had to fill these forms in on various occasions, and yes, I found them very depressing too. You get an unwanted reality check forced on you. All of a sudden you realise just how bad things have got...

I expect you have completed the form by now, but if not, read through it and think to yourself "Is this what it's like on the WORST days?" If that's not what you have written, then revise it. Ditto, if your claim is refused and you have to apply again (about 50% of refused claims are later accepted). I sometimes think that they refuse a lot of claims to see if the claimants are really serious about their case...

Best of luck!

lady thinker said...

Good to hear from you MOB and Robert. Thanks for comments.