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New Kid on the Block ... - Carers UK Forum

New Kid on the Block ...

Tell us a bit about yourself here.
Well I don't know so much about ‘kid’ although even at sixty-three one can be a kid at heart.
I am bi-residential, and I emphasise the residential part, being blessed with United Kingdom Citizenship by birth and Australian Citizenship by acquisition.
I am a double unpaid carer, but not of parents. I am the carer to my brother and my elderly maiden Aunt, although at fifty-five my brother is not young. He suffers from a low level of autism (aspergers) but is reasonably capable of looking after himself from a cleanliness point of view. Over and above that affliction he is epileptic, although treated with tablets and in 2001 sustained serious brain abscesses which had the same effect as a stroke.
He is back to about 60% of his prior capacity which is astounding given how he was just five years ago. Even so I have fought many battles for him and at a personal cost of about $20,000 (£9,200.00) I managed to sponsor him as an immigrant to Australia and now he has residency but not yet citizenship.
There is a catch twenty-two here as he was entitled to a disability living allowance whilst resident in the United Kingdom but not if he is in Australia. Several appeals to the immigration courts within Australia saw his residency granted however he cannot claim any benefits until he is a citizen because the Australian government believes that the United Kingdom government should be that form of providor. One just goes around in circles.
I do find in the United Kingdom that you can write to the various instrumentalities until you are blue in the face and if they don't want to they just don't answer! This also applies to businesses as well, especially when you are chasing up private pension entitlements. Fortunately our government departments in Australia are accountable to the Ombudsman and have to perform or be castigated and maybe fined.
I am also a carer to my ninety-seven year old maiden Aunt. We entered into an Enduring Power of Attorney in 2002 and that had to be registered last year due to her level of dementia. I came over here to at my Aunt’s request in June of 2007 and am currently nine months into what I thought was going to be a three month programme. It would seem that I am to be here for a while yet.
I have learned the hard way what it is like to be a carer in this country. Whilst I am sure that it could be a lot easier it certainly has not been made that way by the County Council’s Social Services department and specifically ‘the older persons team’ of their Adult Services.
In fact until I was this day put onto this site and other ones, including the Council one, I had no idea of what was available. Everyone in the Adult Services appears hell bent on making me out to be dishonest and not acting in the best interests of my Aunt. I have been accused by them of dishonest acts and on one occasion was ‘raided’ by them and the local Police whilst I was in the bath. They accused me of refusing entry to employees of a care company and ‘required’ the Police to gain entry. Unfortunately it was a day when no less than four carers had visited and signed the paperwork. No apology was forthcoming.
It is said that experience plus time equals humour and whilst I can see the funny side of having been dragged out of my bath, grabbed during a bit of afternoon quiet time, to explain myself, it is symptomatic of the ongoing battle that I have with the County Council. It is one that I do not intend to lose because I came over here to look after my Aunt and am committed to do just that. Thank God that I did because she was in one hell of a mess when I arrived. Private care arrangements or not, her lifestyle was abysmal. Maybe my criticism of Adult Services over their lack of interest has hit home, I hope so.
Hello Jon,

After your introduction I feel awful such a short welcome but its late and I have an early start.
Hope you find time to take a look round the main site too and also read the forum.You will find so much information.
Catch up more tomorrow and I am sure by then others will have been along to welcome you too.

Take care
Rosemary
x x x x

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Jon, welcome to the forum. The authorities are clearly treating your aunt as being at least at risk of abuse (financial or physical in the form of neglect or direct action).

In a case like this you need an advocate to support you and to act as an independent witness. The Ombudsman service here usually requires that you go through the complaints procedure first, and you may want to do that given the heavy-handed approach so far. Again, an advocate can support you with this.

Take a look at this page for possible support agencies in your area:

http://www.carersuk.org/Information/Fin ... /Hampshire
Charles thanks for your reply. Is it normal to treat the subject as being at risk of abuse on the basis of no information, or maybe it is just that someone has come into the care arena and rocked their boat because of their lack of prior interest and activity?

I agree that every avenue should be followed with the organisation to resolve difficulties, but what do you do when they dont reply or tell you that 'the matter is being addressed'. curiouser and curiouser.
Hi John. Usually there's evidence or as you say somebody suddenly appears on the scene and eyebrows raise as to the reason...people in this "business" are cynical folk.

The main thing is to have someone fighting your corner with you, challenging the ridiculous and making sure that regulations are followed - they are there to protect you as well as your aunt.