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How do I write down exactly what I do in providing care? - Carers UK Forum

How do I write down exactly what I do in providing care?

Tell us a bit about yourself here.
This is my first post here and would appreciate any tips that can be offered to me.
A few years ago, my wife had an accident in which she suffered injuries preventing her from working. This was undisputed also the fact that she needed care a lot of the day and night was also accepted by an insurance company. Where we went wrong was,if it is possible to be, is too honest. We contacted the Doctor's etc informing them that we believe that less care needs to be provided although are aware that things can be worse at different times.
The problem now is that I am telling them that my wife needs less care than she used to, and we just don't know whether her health has really improved or whether it is simply the management of her disability.
I now need to write down how many hours per day I spend caring for her. This is very difficult to do.
One example is that a few days ago, my wife wanted to visit a shop, I didn't feel very well myself that day and asked her to leave it until another day. She told me that she would be alright going herself. When I told her that I would go with her, she then said that it would be best if we left it for another day. The reason why she eventually agreed to postpone going out is that she knew that I didn't feel well myself.
In this situation, did I provide care or not? On the one hand, I persuaded her not to go out alone (because on this day, she was not as good as on other days) but neither did I actually provide the assistance of going out with her - we both stayed at home.
I am so confused as to just what constitutes care and what does not and would be ever so grateful if someone would kindly enlighten me please.

Many Thanks Image
Hi Mike and welcome to the forum

What constitutes ‘care’ ?

Actually that’s not an easy one to answer ‘cos it can be anything from making a cup of tea for your caree to full on nursing care.

Housework, cooking ,cleaning, shopping, laundry
Full on bathing and dressing or just providing assistance
Pushing a wheelchair for those unable to walk, or just providing an arm to lean on
Being an advocate when dealing with Social Services and ‘officialdom’
Dispensing medication
Chauffeuring services
Companion
Enabler (by your being available to help your caree do something that they couldn’t do on their own)

Just a few ideas to be getting on with but I'm sure someone else will be along with more suggestions soon Image
One example is that a few days ago, my wife wanted to visit a shop, I didn't feel very well myself that day and asked her to leave it until another day. She told me that she would be alright going herself. When I told her that I would go with her, she then said that it would be best if we left it for another day. The reason why she eventually agreed to postpone going out is that she knew that I didn't feel well myself.
In this situation, did I provide care or not?
My answer is that, yes, you did provide care. Just because you didn't go out of the house doesn't mean that you weren't providing care. And because you didn't feel up to providing care on a trip out doesn't mean you don't count those hours. You can't 'sign on the sick' when you're on carer's allowance.

In reassessing your wife's care needs please ensure you cater for the worst of days.

ps. Welcome to the forum.
Hi and welcome Image
Care is doing whatever your wife cannot do by herself, if you are actually doing it or enabling her to do it, which includes when you are ill, because you still have to do it to the best of your ability.
No such thing as a day off Image
Thank you for all of the helpful answers that have been posted. I no longer receive any carer's allowance from the DWP, I voluntarily asked them to look at my situation when I did not do as much as I had done in the past as a carer. The DWP, obviously obliged by stopping my allowance. We are not in receipt of any state benefits whatsoever, but I find it difficult to write down exactly what I did during any given day that would constitute 'care'.
It may be likened to a person coming home from work on any given day, then being asked to write down what you actually did in your eight hours. It could be difficult to to fill an A4 sheet of paper with all what you did, but you know that you did actually do a day's work.
It is an insurance company that wants me to be specific and I'm struggling with this.
Thanks to all.
Always put down what you do on a 'bad' day, so think of one and what you had to do. You'll suprise yourself!

Also re-apply for carers allowance and apply for DLA.
A carers assessment wouldn't go amiss either!
Mike,

try breaking a typical (worst case scenario) day into blocks, If I was doing one for Mum (Alzheimers)and me it would probably read like something as follows:

7am - 10am: Bring Mum cup of tea and help her to sit up in bed. Assist Mum to bathroom and help her wash and dress. Cream Mum's legs. Prepare Mum's breakfast and dispense medication. Answer endless confused questions ! Make/change Mum's bed and tidy bedroom. Put laundry on.
10am - 12noon: Prepare mid-morning coffee. Go through newspaper with Mum. Hoover and dust. Anwer more confused questions.
12noon - 2pm: Prepare lunch and clear away.
2pm-4pm: Doctor's appointments/take Mum shopping (in wheelchair)/push Mum to local park for fresh air and answer yet more questions.
4pm-6pm: settle Mum with newspaper/magazine and TV and prepare evening meal
6pm-10pm: serve and clear away evening meal. Watch TV or go through 'memory' albums with Mum.
10pm - midnight: persuade Mum it's time for bed. Get her into bedroom after much argument that it's not her room (!) Help her to undress and put nightdress on. Settle her into bed (she then gets up again and starts wandering around the flat so get her back into bed and settled again - 3rd attempt usually successful).

Obviously I don't know what your wife's disabilities are or how they affect her day to day - but I'd say use a worst case scenario and describe a day where you have to do more, not less, for her.
Hi Mike,

If you haven't already, I would also suggest you contact your local Welfare Rights, speak to your "Local Council" and they will put you through. Advise them of your basic situation (Carer and Careree) and they will be able to give you some advice as to where you stand regarding benifits that you and your good lady are entiltled to. I found them a useful avenue to explore.

Another, would be your local Carer's organisation. I explained my situation and I found that I found people who understood what I was going through looking after my wife "40" when she was finally diagnoised. Severe RA, OA, I nearly broke down in tears. Also offer listening support as well as other support stuff.... Image

They asked me questions and I answered as best as I could and they filled the forms out for me.

As to DWP, I wouldn't really trust them. Image Always put the worst day down on the forms, as you know you have good bad days, else you wouldn't be caring for your good lady and then BAD BAD days. Image

I also do a couple of hours volunteering a week, just to get me out of the flat. I gives me space, it also gives me time to interact with other people. Otherwise I wouldn't get out apart from taking my wife to the various hosiptal appointments she has to attend.

Hope this helps John C
If they want to be like that, the only way you can play it is to break down the day into hourly time slots - imagining that your caree is having their worst day of the week (even if today's a good day). Start at the time you'd usually wake him/her on a bad day and finish at the time you'd put him/her to bed but be sure to include any night duties (such as turning, pill dispensing, toileting, changing bedding if there's an accident etc) you may do during the night too. Go right back to the time that you'd wake him/her to face the next day Image