Hello to all

I have been caring for my husband for the past 4 years. He had a serious breakdown and my world was turned upside down. I am relieved to say that he has improved but my own health has deteriorated and we are now in the position of trying to care for one another.

Hi Barbara,
Spotted your post just before I log off so a quick ‘welcome to the forum’.
Tell us a little more, for example what age group are you in?
It’s great that you support each other but do you get any breaks, either together or briefly apart from each other? Are friends and/or family in touch and visiting?
Is there something you miss doing? What difficulties are you experiencing?
Are you in receipt of any/all benefits you are entitled to?
Others will be along soon to say ‘hello’.

Hi Barbara,

Welcome to the forum. I know how difficult it is to say "I can’t…"but sometimes it’s essential.

Can I ask who else you are trying to care for, as well as your husband?

A little more information for you.

I am 77 years of age and diagnosed with diabetes, m.e./fibromyalgia, high blood pressure, glaucoma, hiatus hernia and IBS, so as you can see I am a mess!
My husband has memory problems.
At present I only care for my husband as my mother in law died a year ago. I had been caring for both her and my husband until her death.
I do have 2 daughters who assist us as much as they can but they have their own families and problems. However, I belong to a Carer’s Group and have made a number of friends and the support I get here is great. Not sure where I would have been now if I hadn’t found this group some time after my husband had his diagnosis.
I used to be very active but my mobility isn’t very good at present.
Just this week my very close friend went into permanent care with Alzheimer’s. For the past 8 years I have seen her go from a bright, intelligent and fun loving person to just a shell that she now is. This is heartbreaking! Feeling very sad at present.

Hi Barbara,

Definitely time for you to have some “me” time. Have your husband’s memory problems been properly diagnosed? If so, did you know he is now exempt from Council Tax on the grounds of “Severe mental impairment”. This can be backdated to the date of diagnosis! Have you claimed Attendance Allowance for him?
Do you have Power of Attorney?
Are you getting any help at all with him, so that you can have guaranteed “me” time?

I had a very serious car accident, three months after I was widowed at the age of 54. I was forced to make some hard decisions because I couldn’t walk at all without terrible pain. All OK now after 2 knee replacements, five years after the accident.

The less “stuff” you have in the house, the easier it will be to look after.
Use a tumble dryer, and a dishwasher.

Has your husband had a Needs Assessment from Social Services in the last year, and you, a Carers Assessment?

Hello Barbara and welcome to the group.

I am so sorry to hear about your best friend. It must be devastating for you. People always think of relatives even those who aren’t close as being a terrible loss but best friends are often much closer on a day to day basis so you really have my sympathy.

I am pleased you are finding your local carers group helpful.

BB can you tell me a bit more about memory loss and severe mental impairment. I’d never really thought of it as that but 50% off our council tax would definitely be more worthwhile than the small wheelchair users discount. What I really want to know is how much memory loss is needed to qualify. Thanks for mentioning it. It’s one of those “unknown unknowns” - things I would never have searched for or thought of for myself.

If you are suffering from severe mental impairment you become EXEMPT from Council Tax. My son has severe learning difficulties, lives alone, but pays nothing at all.
For someone with dementia who needs support, they too are exempt. It’s really important to get a proper diagnosis, then it’s easier to claim the CT exemption, and probably Attendance Allowance too. Unfortunately the medical profession might think it’s kinder to say it’s “memory loss” rather than dementia, but they don’t understand the benefits system! Whilst in theory the diagnosis is not important, it’s the help that’s needed that is, in practice, a proper diagnosis helps!

Whenever anyone mentions dementia I always mention the exemption to them. On holiday in Majorca I met a holidaymaker from the UK whose husband had mental problems as the result of the stroke, she was delighted to hear that she might get more financial help. Pass the word on.

been looking into this since I read your post and it seems like you need to keep asking doctors until you find one whose standard for severe matches what you’ve got. There doesn’t seem to be any definition of severe it’s just left to the judgement of the doctors.

Does your caree have any diagnosis at all?

Loads of them but his memory loss and “interesting” sense of time are due to brain injury. He somehow manages to have a less than 1 in 7 success rate at working out what day it is and constantly thinks he’s having an MRI on Friday amongst other things but in most aspects his brain works pretty well. I prefer partner to caree.

This is one of the best summaries of the discount