My first real help, was being able to have a motability car. This car is provided by the government, in exchange for the mobility
portion of my Disabily Living Allowance. I should explain to those of you who are not familiar with
this allowance. It
is an allowance given to those with difficulties, and who need help, either with getting around, or with personal care, and
is given in those two parts. The part which helps with mobility, can be given up in respect of a car being provided, maintained
and taxed. It can be driven by the disabled person, or by their
"carer" whether that be partner, family member
designated person, but it only for the use of the disabled person, and their needs.
The personal care part
of the allowance, is to pay for someone to help with personal care, ie getting meals, personal hygiene etc. Their criteria
being pretty restricted, though the care has to be needed, it doesn't necessarily have to be actually given. The care allowance
is calculated in two parts, day care, and night-time care. It does not include help with household chores or
Forms for application for this allowance, are available from your Social Security office.
Another help with getting
around comes in the form of an "Orange Badge" which is also available through Social Services, it gives special
concessions to parking, meaning that your car can be parked at some places where others
cannot park, ie on double yellow
lines, for a period of time, or for unlimited time, in places which have time restrictions for other users. This can be a
great help, when walking is extremely limited.
Wheelchairs, my present bugbear!!! Though my General Practitioner, and
Physiotherapist both see a need for me to have one provided, my county (this varies from county to county) does not provide
a wheelchair, unless the person
requires it both indoors and out. As my house is only small, I can move around with the
aid of the furniture, so do not need a wheelchair for use indoors.
Social Services recommend I buy a wheelchair,as the
most basic wheelchair will cost in the region of £200 plus (at current prices), I find that is outside of my financial reach,
therefore I have had to look around for other means of aquiring one. After searching, I find that The Red Cross will provide
a wheelchair, on loan, for short periodical use. This can be a period of up to six weeks. Social Services, after being referred
to, can also provide other aids, these are many, and vary according to your disability, and problems it causes you. Your allocated
Occupational Therapist will discuss this with you during a meeting, at your home, where you can ascertain what your needs
are, and what aids are available to help with these. There are also people working for Social Services,
who can come to
your home, to advise of any changes which could be made to your home, or to your working methods, which would make your life
easier and more enjoyable. How helpful this team are, I have yet to find out personally.
Whilst on the subject of help,
let's not forget the emotional difficulties which can arise, and did in my case most definitely. That feelings can often get
the better of you, can often cause great upset, I found the best way of
dealing with my emotions, was to enlist the help
of a counsellor. I asked my GP to refer me to a counsellor, after counselling others in my working life, I
knew how helpful
they could be, in assisting feelings to be overcome, that is to be dealt with, and come to terms with, and not to overtake
your very being.
I worked with my counsellor, and talked it over with family and friends, which all helped to put things
into perspective for me. My feelings were understood,
and I could move on.