Hi thank you for letting me join CarersUK .
Katie’s death In February this year my dear friend, Curtis, who was a full time carer for his wife but in February had to deal with her death. Not only did he loose his wife ,Katie, his soul mate, his best friend he lost a lot more. The car he had been using had to be given back as it was a disability car. When Katie died he lost his job which meant he no longer had an income. Potentially he also lost his home as the home was in his wife’s name. To make matters worse he started to get hounded by the DWP to attend the Job Centre Plus, and this was before Katie was even buried.
To make matters worse the local council: Lancashire County Council had started moving the registry office and there would be a delay in processing the Probate…
I knew Curtis from when I ran a homeless outreach team, he was the assistant manager of the local night shelter, over the years I have known him he has always been looking after someone, but here in his hour of need where was everyone? I convinced him to come and stay with me for a while and let me sort out Katie’s house, otherwise he would still be sitting alone in that house ,although it had been his home he referred to as being like a “prison” for the last 7 years. I explain that comment later but if you are a carer you might already understand this comment. I didn’t understand his comment at first, I knew him as this loyal faithful husband that never left her side except to do the shopping.
Curtis had decided as he didn’t want to live in the house he would just get rid of it, in my opinion at the time he just was not in the right frame of mind and I asked him to think before acting rashly. He said he had dream and that he had always dreamed of living on a barge. I guess having served his country he wanted to see it and what better way to see it then at 4 miles an hour! So we went to a local mariner to enquire about a boat, strange thing was we asked a chap on this Barge where the sales office was and he pointed us in the right direction, however I pointed out to Curtis I think that is for sale, Curtis asked he could see the Barge and when he did he fell in love with it. He went away but he had made his mind up. In his mind he was told that the Probate would be sorted by the end of that week, so he decided to put a deposit down. He was made up over the next few weeks he had an opportunity to have a go on the barge and he was just so at home with the though of spending the rest of his time on the water…but over the coming weeks and months this dream of owning this barge would be dashed.
**more in common then we first realised**Curtis realised that we had more in common then we first knew, He had put a brave face on things but I’d seen right through it, and he saw right through me. I already knew I was suffering from the effects of PTSD and various other conditions, such as ASD, that I really had tried to brush off, but as Curtis was living with me he started to realise that I actually needed someone to keep an eye on me. So it turns out that Curtis is now my full time carer, and we kinda look after each other. Both being ex servicemen we were used to what is known in the forces as the Buddy-Buddy system. It where you pair off and look after each other or in military terms give each other the kick up the bum that you need.
**Where is the PROBATE?**So Curtis is now my carer, we have finally refurbished Katie’s house he was living in, It soon to be rented out ( depending on the probate)as he feels he simply cannot live there because of the memories and the Probate? LCC has still not processed it this is in over 3 months!
Katie was only 44 when she passed away and she did not have a Will in place which means that a probate letter has to be obtained unfortunately without this Insurance companies etc. cannot act under Curtis’s instructions.
At present he has maxed out his credit card, the only way to pay for the funeral and what else could he live on, DWP had delayed payments as a carer by over 8 weeks and I think its fair to say if it wasn’t for him living here I hate to think what state he would have been in.
Currently as he has been staying at mine as a live in carer and he receives carers allowance.
I receive PIP, EEsa support group, WP. council tax benefit and help with housing.
Now if Curtis decides that he is going to stay here full time I’m going to have to declare that he is living here, at the moment it is just temporary until the Probate comes through, he might decide to buy a barge and live his dream…
So that as brief as I could make it but we really could do with some help here. We have both served this country and yet the hoops we have had to go through to just simply survive is unbelievable.