Hi all

I'm looking for a bit of guidance/advice. I'll try to be concise but I'll probably fail miserably.

I have recently helped my Mum apply for attendance allowance and I have applied for carers allowance to look after her. We have both been turned down. A friend said I should appeal but I don't want to push for something we aren't deserving of. If I set out our situation I was hoping that someone with more experience could tell me if you think we have a case or not.

My Mum is 84 and she has always lived with me and my family. Now it's just her, me and my 22 year old son after I got divorced. My Mum has very high blood pressure, high cholesterol and poor circulation in her legs that means she can't walk more than about 50-100 yards without sitting down for 10 minutes. That means she can't go shopping without pain and difficulty. She's fairly good at taking her 4 types of medicine but does forget sometimes so I am there to make sure she's taken them. She recently had a minor stroke and we have been warned that a more serious one often follows the first. She fell over when the stroke happened dropping the iron on the floor (There's a nice iron imprint in the carpet now) and for 2 or 3 weeks afterwards someone had to follow her upstairs and back down again because she was so unsteady on her feet. She's not so bad now but she gets blurred vision occasionally and gets dizzy. She is also very forgetful. She repeats the same stories every couple of days which obviously is fine, but on two occasions she has left the gas hob turned on (unlit) and she has no sense of smell to warn her it's on. I came downstairs both times and it hit me straight away, my Mum was sitting there none the wiser. She does things like cook egg and chips but she puts the frying pan on the hob with the gas full bore at the same time as she puts the chips in the oven. You can imagine the smoke after 5 minutes let alone the 15 minutes it takes the chips to cook. I let her cook still but only with me there. She showers herself but leaves the door unlocked in case of falls which has happened twice (not too seriously) Basically, if you saw her sitting down you would think there was nothing wrong, and she would tell you that as well. In reality, she can't shop for herself, is dangerous when cooking, is very forgetful and gets confused very quickly, she simply can't be left alone.

I am unemployed and have been for 12 months. Up to when my Mother had a stroke I always thought I would employ someone to help her once I found work, but since the stroke I have decided It makes sense for me to care for her personally, and that's what she wants as well. That is why she applied for attendance allowance and I applied for carers allowance. We wouldn't be much better off financially but it just seems to make sense for me to carry on looking after her rather than paying most of my wages (when I found work) for someone else to look after her.

As I said, I know in my own head that I can't leave her alone but is it serious enough to justify Attendance Allowance and a Carer?

All the best,

Simon.