Hello everyone

Hi Everyone.

I am Glyn and am the carer for my wife of 22 years, Marilyn.

Marilyn has a mental health problem described as depressive disorder with psychosis. She has been in my care since release from mental hospital in January under a Community Treatment Order and this has just gone through the legal motions and been extended by an initial further 6 months. She, and I as her carer, is not new to mental health needs with her being voluntarily section 23 years ago and Sectioned 2 and 3 twice last year, following a suicide attempt.

I have retired at 60 to take on this new challenge as I couldn’t do a shift work job and be her nurse/guardian. The NHS or Government appear to race to get people out into the community for treatment, steamrollering through the needs and insecurities of those they place their trust - the carer. It was only when the wife had a psychiatrist visit, that they noticed I was not coping and had not been formerly recognised as in need of carers assistance. My carers assessment came last week but I have been on a carers hub recently and now have a carers coordinator who checks in with me for me.

I have now started the arduous task of seeking Attendance Allowance for my wife and the form filling is something to behold. Any tips would be a bonus guys.

For now hello and thanks for listening.

Welcome to the forum.

How old is your wife?

Attendance Allowance is for over 65.
PIP, Personal Independence Payment, is for under 65’s (double check that the age limit hasn’t changed upwards. It’s a real shame no one told you to claim before, as your wife has clearly needed a lot of support for a long time.

As your wife has been sectioned, there should be no problem in claiming. Make sure you claim for the Mobility Component too, as she needs help when out and about.

Have Social Services done a Needs Assessment for your wife, and a Carers Assessment for you - were you sent a copy afterwards? Clearly you need to have some time off.

Thanks for the reply. My wife has just turned 71 (shrewd move by her to get a toyboy), so can claim the allowance.

Just had a Carers Assessment mainly because everyone assumed the hospital had done it and not asked me. She has had no other representation other than the enforced ‘Depot’ injection fortnightly and visits in line with her CTO extension.

I am going to use the Court Papers for her CTO extension to lay weight to her claim due to it being very colourful in describing her as a danger to herself and non compliant. Those little tick boxes do not give that opportunity to be forthright.

My life for now rotates around a radius of a mile from home, with my personal time being my Gym at the YMCA along the road from us. She is so dependent on me, it is akin to having a toddler and I hate myself when I have to reign her in for smelling, not eating or being fussy or skipping pills.

You need more time off than that, it sounds way too limiting.
Has anyone mentions NHS Continuing Healthcare to you?
I know how it works for physical illness, but not mental illness I’m afraid.
Clearly she needs 24/7 care, and without you there would be no option but for her to move into residential care.
As the has been “sectioned” I believe the NHS has more responsibility for aftercare, but again don’t know the details.
Now the most difficult question of all, but it needs to be asked.
Would you prefer your wife to be living elsewhere?
Has anyone talked properly to you about your future caring role, the impact on your life, and whether you want to continue caring?
Has anyone told you that you CANNOT be forced to care, even for a spouse?

Professionally the subject has not been broached. Emotionally, the subject has not been considered and I stay by my marriage vows.

Siblings, family and friends are at odds with themselves with what to do. I presume I show an in control, compassionate and loving front to them. They see a lady infrequently or not since this happened who has changed beyond all their understanding. I respect that they hurt for themselves as much as her and cannot envisage wearing my shoes (nor want to).

No health professional has said that the situation isn’t reversible and therefore I hold a shred of optimism that I will get her back and I carry that optimism for others who air more on the half empty side.

For now I manage, cope and appreciate my lot as for in comparison with others I have fewer issues.

Hopefully we will get the attendance allowance and carers allowance, and I will discuss respite further down the line before I cannot cope. For now, I have broad shoulders and will take the load.