An exploration of the UK unpaid carer's world

Update 28 Jan b  2015             My wife's health  



The 2014 summer and to November is summarised as a long nightmare of dealing with what is loosely called "carer provision " or “carer support”.  There are many aspects of it, whichever name you choose.  The main government body says "Practitioners carrying out carer assessments are encouraged to consider flexible and innovative use of services which would help to minimise any negative impact that the caring role might be having on you.".  This body did the opposite and that was just one item on a long list of things which went wrong in the carer provision pointed in my direction.


It was necessary to inform such practitioners that my second carer assessment was eight months overdue.  What followed was a nightmare in itself.  The assessment was carried out by phone.  The caller acted as reluctant gatekeeper. I requested to see someone in middle management. I went and there were two of them.  It wasn't the best of meetings.  Since then, my case is being sorted out and I receive very worthwhile support beyond the call of duty from one of them (later referred to as my main support).  The other one couldn’t even remember my name.


Life has been even more hectic since mid-November.  I had been in touch with GPs beyond ours (who is highly competent and caring) as he was away.  The concern was over Teresa’s severe pain in her right hip and further down the leg.  On 13 November, an ambulance was called and off we went.  A&E was overrun by demand when we arrived c 7pm.  To cut a very long story short we were told to go home at 0200 the next day. We hope to determine why an A&E group of medics would decide that  a 78 year-old sick woman would be told to go home at 2 in the morning.   That decision was met with refusal and she did not come out of hospital the Friday before Christmas, five weeks later and had had an operation.  It proves that being told to go home on 14 November was, technically, an unsafe discharge.


Life is settling down to a new normality.  Teresa still experiences a lot of pain and is still on a long list of pills.  Her mobility is even less and she travels the house in an electrically-driven small wheelchair. She uses a Zimmer frame when she can for a few steps.  Trips out depend on a nearly-new heavy-duty electric wheelchair within our new ten-year old car adapted for such use.  (Such cars new are a frightful price.)  


Many of our combined caree/carer needs have been met by my main support  (see 2 above).  The practical aspects of her arranging the £ include ably-supplied help from Cross Roads Care in the form of a domestic-tasks-hour on weekdays and five hours respite break for me mid-week.  The carer and Teresa soon bonded very well and Liz goes well beyond the call of duty.


I took a long list of caree health and other problems to one of the orgs within the local carer provision to be told it could not help me.  It receives vast sums of public money but. in my case at least, it is not up to the mark. 


Inevitably, the range of Teresa’s medical appointments has new components. District nurses are regular visitors.  I have been trying for weeks to discuss matters with an Occupational Therapist and there may now be one on the horizon (as is physio¬therapy).  


Planning is difficult and the flow of medical visitors and hospital appointments doesn’t help.  We take each day as it comes.  Spring is on the way and we’re optimistic about the future.  Best wishes for 2015.  Do write or phone.


More at

December 2014 update here

A&E etc summary here.

Updates October & November 2014  here

24 October 2014

Minor update on WAVs and why updates have been missed - see No. 5 here.   

Addition on 28 Jan 2014

The Stories page shows that all unpaid/informal carers are unique, hence their stories are likewise.  My story proves the point but it is not a contestant for any title such as "Carer with the most needs/worst problems."  Use the Internet to find more stories beyond those I have shown. You will be humbled by them and, like me, be grateful that your situation is what it is.

You will also benefit from pages such as this and look for help re your carer situation in particular.  Perhaps this page helps.   Keep up to date.

pagetop  here      for pasting   Update 28 Jan a 2015 -  My wife's health here

                                     Update 28 Jan b 2015 - The cost of care - a preliminary here