Hi fellow carers

Tell us a bit about yourself here.
Hi, I'm a new member. I suppose you could say that i've been caring for my husband for 41years, ever since he developed type 1 diabetes in 1976. It was fairly easy to start with, but 4 years in he lost the hypo (low blood sugar) warning and things got a bit more tricky. About 20 years ago he began to develop neuropathy (damage to nerves in his feet, legs and hands) and things got even trickier. The neuropathy has become worse and worse and he now has severe mobility problems. We get by with walking frames and a wheelchair, but it seems there is no treatment for his condition and no way of stopping its progress. His problems are compounded by nerve damage to his right hand and arthritis in his finger joints. There is very little he can do for himself now.
I am his sole carer.
He is very brave and rarely complains, but it is very hard for him.
I wish there was some social provision for him in our area so that he could get out of the house, have some fun and make new friends. I could also enjoy some time off knowing that he was in safe, sympathetic hands.
Hi Margaret and welcome
Your husband should have a Needs Assesment from Social services and you a Carers assessment. These should identify what help you need and point you to local services. After the assessmenr should be a financial one to see what funding is available. As it depends on husbands income
Do you mind telling us how old you and your husband are. Do you manage to work as well?
Thanks for the reply Mrs A. I have had several carers assessments over the years and am due to have another next month. They do not make much difference in my experience. We've had some help with grab rails fitted in our home, zimmer frames and a grant towards a new wheelchair.
We are both in our seventies. I'm 74 and my husband is 76. I do not qualify for carers allowance and my husband does not qualify for any mobility allowance. Any help we received we would have to pay for ourselves. He does receive attendance allowance and we have recently applied for the higher level payment since I can't leave him at night. We are not hopeful of a positive response however.
I am glad to be able to care for my husband and I'm lucky to be in good health and able to drive. The worry is how long will this continue and what happens then? These are unanswered questions that contingency planning does not address.
You are so right, Margaret - but give yourself a really big pat on the back for being so positive and doing so well. I think I am learning, slowly, that we have to live for the day..... I have been a carer many times, but for my partner - only this year. We have no car as he sold it when his license was revoked, but we get by one way and another.

Your husband is very lucky to have such a positive lady to care for him - I take my hat off to you and wish you well for the future, whatever it brings.

Good Luck

Hello again Margaret
Have you tried the local carers support? They may know of clubs for hubby and friends for you.
Also what about diabetes UK? I think they have both a forum and a helpline

As to the assessments, have you asked for copies? Often we find the info is incorrect and they can be challenged as sadly it's a case of the most persistant getting the most help.

Hi Margaret, you say you would have to pay for everything yourself. Some councils seem not to be following the rules. Financial assessments can be done either individually, or jointly. So if jointly, you would start paying if between you your savings were over £46,000. So did you have a proper financial assessment, get a written statement of how the figure was arrived at? Our CUK helpline will be able to tell you more.
Thanks for all the advice. We have not had a financial assessment, so this is something to consider. Diabetes UK is a great charity and does a good job of helping people with this condition. We get their magazine "Balance" and I would recommend this to anyone with diabetes. My husband controls his diabetes very well with insulin therapy but this has made no difference to his neuropathy. The doctors seem quite puzzled by this and have done extensive investigations but no treatment has been forthcoming.
I have gone to some local carers meetings but it clashes with my exercise class, which I find more beneficial. It's really good to get away from thinking about caring for a while. We both also belong to our local U3A (University of the third age) and I would recommend this to older people - it's great for forming new friendships and learning new things.