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is Mum entitled to be housed somewhere safe? - Carers UK Forum

is Mum entitled to be housed somewhere safe?

Share your ideas about the practical side of caring.

This is the first time I have posted to the forum. I have been reading some of the posts and wow do some of them resonate with me ... so great reading!

My mother is able to walk with the aid of a frame but is at high risk of falls because of a spinal deformity. She lives alone (with carers going in 4 times a day) and, in the warm weather, when I visit, I have always assisted her into the back garden because there is a couple of big concrete steps and uneven ground. However this afternoon she told me on the phone that she'd gone into the back garden, down those steps and down the side of the house to check the gas meter. She hasn't done that in a couple of years because I do that. I was horrified as that means she negotiated the steps by herself and down the side of the house is all manor of things she can fall over. I never imagined she would do that. I always imagined that if she fell that it would be indoors. But to think she could fall outside on cold hard ground is unbearable. Goodness knows if the falls alarm would pick up round the side of the house (will test that tomorrow).Tomorrow I will go there and make it as safe as possible in case she tries it again.

But I was wondering whether Social Services are obliged to ensure she is in a safe property (it is privately rented and permission to make the adaptations we'd need (to put in a ramp and make safe the ground to the side of the house) would be doubtful? Can we ask SS to move her into safe, adapted accommodation?

Thanks. Not sure where to find this information before I actually phone SS to tell them Mum is at risk since she tried to negotiate the steps and the area to the side of the house herself.


Have you tried her GP? or Age Concern?
It wasn't until we had to have a home visit that Mums Gp realised just how bad she is, and after that we got all manner of aids from Social Services including a temporary ramp and hand rails (which you may not need with a walking frame) Some very unsuitable things were delivered such as a perching stool (she fell off it because she tried to sit on it and not 'perch') but we sent them back so they're not cluttering up the house.
She's bedridden now so I suppose we ought to return them all.
A phone call to the practise manager may be all you need. Don't ask = don't get as they say.
Ask both Social Services and the GP to arrange an URGENT Occupational Therapist referral. (Who takes responsibility depends partly on where you live, that's why I suggest both at once). Mum may be entitled to a Disabled Facilities Grant if a lot of work is involved in sorting out the access issues. In my area they refused to provide a temporary ramp, even when it was impossible to fit a fixed ramp without tearing out the front porch and the original front door!!). If it's a privately rented flat, then the landlord would be approached by the department concerned for permission.
Then ask Social Services by letter, sent Recorded Delivery (keep a copy) asking for an urgent Needs Assessment. (Make OT request in the same way, it shows you mean business and you have proof your letter actually arrived, not getting "lost in the post".
Is mum claiming DLA/PIP (under 65) or Attendance Allowance (over 65)?
Who arranged and paid for the Carers? If it was Social Services, then you just need to ask for an updated Needs Assessment as mum's needs have increased.
Has mum put her name down on the council's housing list? It sounds like she might benefit from some form of Sheltered Housing.
Quite honestly I don't think anyone is entitled to anything in this world. I think its up to us to take care of ourselves and our loved ones to the best of our ability, but entitlement doesn't really come into it. Its up tous to make our homes as safe as possible, no-one else is going to do it for us.
I'd like to be entitled to central heating and a shower, but it ain't going to happen.
Social Services have a duty to protect "vulnerable adults". They cannot refuse to help someone BEFORE doing a Needs Assessment, but sometimes staff taking calls requesting an assessment don't seem to know that. It's always worth looking at the Care Act to see what the LA is supposed to be doing.
ExD - well, my niece on PIP seems to be entitled to quite a lot (none of which she's paid in to by way of taxes, as she's never worked - or at least, not enough to pay tax in the first place). She's got a lovely car and a lovely accessible shower.

I'm not saying it's either morally right or morally wrong, but it seems to be legally right, or she wouldn't get it.

I guess the word 'entitled' is the tricky one - maybe 'qualify' is better?

I do think though, that there is a very important principle here - that a society should help to 'compensate' for things like 'poor health' which are beyond the control (and therefore beyond the responsibility) of the 'ill' person.

However, just what constitutes 'beyond control/responsibility' is a lot trickier! Especially when it comes to MH issues, sigh.

One thing is for sure though, you have to know how to make the system work for your benefit - that can take a lot of 'knowhow' and sometimes 'cunning' as well???

It can be a murky business, morality wise?

I guess my own 'moral bottom line' is that our tax money is spent - mis-spent! - on VAST numbers of things it shouldn't oughter be spent on! I read y/day that the policing bill for the funeral of the man who was killed while robbing an OAP cost the public £26,000....

Now, was that money 'well spent'???

And don't even get me on to the squillions being squandered on endless Brexit talks! (et etc etc). In the great scheme of things, therefore, whether my niece is, or is not, 'qualified' (or even 'entitled'!!!!) to a free car and a new bathroom, pretty much pales into insignificance. That's not to exonerate her if she isn't 'really' qualified (ie, she's just 'worked the system'), but it does, I think put it, and all such instances, into proportion.....

Tricky issue though, definitely!
PS by the way, my niece isn't 'cynically' working the system. She genuinely, genuinely, genuinely believes she is that ill (depression, FM and IBS).

She wouldn't believe you if you told her she wasn't ill. It's how she has come to define her entire existence now.

And, yes, she does get 'secondary gain' out of it. eg, free car and new bathroom, for starters (plus PIP of course)

Who am I to judge? I don't feel the misery of her depressed mind, nor the muscle spasms and aches of FM, nor the knotted guts of IBS. Maybe if I walked in her shoes for a week I'd be shouting 'YES I DO QUALIFY!!!!!!'

Oh how I agree with you about that funeral!
And now there's the saga of the family and the frail old man in the farmhouse that they've just 'bought' off him. Why has the duty of care for him I wonder - surely he is entitled (aka qualifies) for protection? Doubtful.