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Elderly and frail - blue badge?

(35 Posts)
redshoebox Fri 23-Mar-18 19:02:31

My MIL is in her early 90's and is increasingly frail. She has had a couple of falls lately and is now very unsteady and can't walk very far, she needs to hold someone's arm. Does anyone know whether she would be able to apply for a blue badge to use when we are taking her somewhere in the car? I've looked on the government website, but it doesn't mention eligibility due to sheer old age.

daisy118 Fri 23-Mar-18 20:35:40

Yes make an application online,Im sure her age will add to the situation.I applied for my mum aged 88 on discharge from hospital after a broken hip.They also require information on any medication taken,recent hospital admissions,their GP and record the distance they can walk.Mums application was successful,recall she did get a phone call to chat about her walking ability.

NecklessMumster Fri 23-Mar-18 20:37:55

it's based on ability not age, but it sounds like your mum would qualify and should definitely apply

thesandwich Fri 23-Mar-18 21:04:24

Some local authorities do assessments, but do apply- get advice from age uk etc if it helps.

redshoebox Fri 23-Mar-18 21:16:53

Thanks for your advice. They are going to visit her house to see what adaptations can be made. Up until a few weeks ago she was very sprightly for a 94 year-old but she has suddenly become a lot more doddery and had several falls in the last ten days. A&E after the last fall with various minor injuries but she hasn't broken her hip thank goodness, and they didn't keep her in.

She's a stubborn character and reluctant to apply ("I'm not disabled!!!") but I thought it might be a good idea to find out a bit now, rather than leave it until later.

AnnaMagnani Fri 23-Mar-18 21:22:25

It isn't based on age but disability - ability to walk distances. If she needs to hold an arm and can't walk far then she should qualify.

Have you also applied for Attendance Allowance?

redshoebox Fri 23-Mar-18 22:31:40

Yes, to walk any distance, she needs a helping arm.
We haven't applied for anything yet, like I say she's been a trouper until a couple of weeks ago and it's gone pear-shaped since. There hasn't been time to think about stuff like that yet. It's only really come to a head since her last fall and the emergency hospital visit a couple of days ago.
She's my MIL, so DH and his siblings will be the ones to help her make decisions and sort out paperwork etc, rather than me.

pimlicolife Fri 23-Mar-18 22:41:00

Hi there, the eligibility criteria is purely physical. The criteria is online if you have a good google.

If you apply they will offer an in person assessment if it's not clear from the information provided that your mother clearly qualifies for a badge.

In order to qualify you need to be virtually unable to walk. But you lose nothing by applying,

Topseyt Sun 25-Mar-18 22:47:25

I would think she should qualify. No harm in applying anyway.

My parents are in n their eighties and of increasingly limited mobility now. They have qualified for a blue badge each. Like your MIL, they were initially reluctant to apply, not considering themselves disabled, and not wanting to admit that they were starting to struggle.

They are now very glad of their blue badges though. They only regret not applying sooner.

Needmoresleep Mon 26-Mar-18 07:36:25

May I ask a very basic question. Both I, and my mum's carer take DM to places in our own cars. DM cannot walk very far at all. Is there some way in which we coulld get a blue badge which could be used by the carer, me or both, only to be used when DM is with us? Parking is not good in key places: GPs, dentist, hospital, near beach cafe, but there are usually a lot of empty disabed spaces. Which means we often end up having to take taxis, and are deterred from taking DM for short walks/coffee.

WorriedandTerfy Mon 26-Mar-18 07:38:08

Of course you can needmoresleep
The badge is issued to the person needing it, but can be username in any car they are in, or indeed on trips solely for them, even without them in the car, as I understand it.

WorriedandTerfy Mon 26-Mar-18 07:38:22

Used not username blush

Mmmmmmmchips Mon 26-Mar-18 07:43:10

Worried- the holder would have to be travelling in the car for badge to be used

Needmoresleep Mon 26-Mar-18 07:43:15

Thanks. At one point I emailed the council but never got a reply. I will try agan.

(Now that spring is on its way I feel up to tackling lower priority admin tasks I parked ages ago. Perhaps one day I will feel on top of this POA stuff.)

WorriedandTerfy Mon 26-Mar-18 07:47:53

mmmmm sorry, you are quite right.

I remember reading that somewhere and it didn’t sound quite right blush

I’m the process of applying for one for DF.
It takes ages sad

But it can be used for collecting and dropping off the blue badge holder.

WorriedandTerfy Mon 26-Mar-18 07:48:57

needmore for our council there is a paper form or you can do it online. If the latter, then you have to send in photo and copies of proofs of iD.

BreakfastAtSquiffanys Mon 26-Mar-18 08:17:19

The badge goes with the person, not the car.

No, it can't be used by others undertaking trips on their behalf. I can't use my father's badge to pick up his prescription.
Neither can I park in a BB bay, leave my father in the car, and go to pick up his prescription.
I am capable of walking, therefore I park elsewhere, leave him in car and pick up his prescription
The BB holder must be in the car unless they are being picked up or dropped.

Needmoresleep Mon 26-Mar-18 08:46:39

Ah. My mother has Alzheimers, so I cannot leave her. In the car or outside.

It would be simple to drop her off outside the GPs, where there is a convenient seat, and look for parking, but she would be gone by the time I got back. (Has happened...) Finding parking and then trying to get her to walk any distance is equally problematic. This is on the South Coast where there are an amazing number of disabled spots and a real shortage of paying ones. So it is not unusual to have a 20 minute walk to the dentist from the nearest parking, or to have to exit the hospital parking and park in the town centre, if you cannot access disabled spots. And parking anywhere near the beach on a sunny day without access to disabled parking is impossible.

It seems - I assume I am late in working this out - that I need to apply here. And it seems that the Alzheimers is not a reason, I will need to prove the physical disability. Here's hoping that given she is 89 they will believe me. (I hate going to the GP for sginatures. It is a practice with a large number of elderly and they must spend a big proportion of their time signing forms which are very little to do with medicine.)

Thanks for the help.

BreakfastAtSquiffanys Mon 26-Mar-18 11:11:52

@Needmoresleep
People can and do get Blue Badges for disabilities which are not "can't walk 50 yards". Possibly might be more difficult.

BlankTimes Mon 26-Mar-18 11:58:14

Most of the info you need is here.
www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/197719/can-i-get-a-blue-badge.pdf

First thing to get is a letter from the GP supporting the Blue Badge application.

I found our local Council Customer services centre were very helpful, they'll fill the form in for you and even take a photo to use on the back of the badge for ID.
If your relative can get there easily, it may be an option.

Take the doctor's letter and and copies of all the other supporting documents you need which are :-
Their national insurance number
Their driving licence.
Proof of their identification e.g. a birth or marriage certificate, a driving licence, a passport or an ID card
Proof of their address e.g. a letter from their bank or a utility bill
A photograph of them (Our Customer Services lady took it on a camera connected to their computer, so don't worry if you don't have one) They were happy with copies of the documents but I took the originals just in case.

Explain their condition in as much detail as possible Describe how their condition affects their daily life and your mobility. Try to estimate how far they can travel without assistance, (see below, leaning on a person or a trolley for support is not 'without assistance') how long it takes them to travel this distance and how travelling this distance without assistance makes them feel e.g. if it causes pain, makes them feel out of breath or dizzy, etc

Please be careful filling in the above details, older people particularly want to paint the best picture of themselves and if they say they can "walk round the supermarket without help" they'll likely not be given a badge but if the truth is more like this, then describe exactly what happens. e.g. They need a hand getting out of the car and need a wider space to open the car door fully so you can help after you've got the trolley for them to lean on then they can be supported by the trolley whilst they look at a few things whilst you run round the aisles getting all the things that are needed that trip, then take the relative to the courtesy seating whilst you check out, then they lean on the trolley to get back to the car.
Also describe how they manage indoors, do they use a stick or rollator or zimmer frame, need a grab handle on steps etc.

Sometimes, when the form has been submitted, the person it's for will be asked to go for a Mobility Assessment Interview by the Council's trained physio or OT or other trained professional.
It's not torturous and the assessors are very kind. They ask a few questions and in our case observe the person walking back to the car , noting how long it takes, how unsteady they are, if they get breathless etc.
They cannot give you an answer there and then, it's not solely their decision.
We heard a week later we'd been successful, the timeframe will be dependent on how many cases are being dealt with at any one time.

Good Luck flowers I hope you are all successful. As I've said above, it's how you answer the questions that can make a big difference.

Topseyt Mon 26-Mar-18 12:10:22

I understand that the holder must be travelling in the vehicle and intending to get out of it once parked in order for the badge to be used.

That is my understanding, though I am prepared to stand corrected if necessary.

WorriedandTerfy Mon 26-Mar-18 15:51:44

Our GPs surgery says they no longer do letters for blue badges.

AnnaMagnani Mon 26-Mar-18 18:27:44

You can now apply online

bluebadge.direct.gov.uk/bluebadge/why-are-you-here

No-one is interested in doctor's notes anymore and many surgeries won't do them as they know this. The online form basically divides you up into automatic award or straight to assessor.

My mum did hers, put her details in and had the assessor as she didn't fall into one of the groups that automatically gets a blue badge.

As a previous poster has said, lots of elderly people overstate their abilities so the assessors really work in elderly people's favour as they are very fair and cut out a lot of the 'I can walk a fair bit' - how far is that? or 'I can walk 100 yards on a good day' when they haven't had a good day for 2 years.

My mum loves her blue badge, it's changed her life as she can go out to so many places now.

Needmoresleep Tue 27-Mar-18 08:41:30

Thanks. My impression was that her Council expected the application to be done on-line. Because of the dementia there is no chance of my mother filling in anything, whilst she now uses her walker to get round her flat, and she would struggle with even a curb, let alone steps.

I have a target of a piece of her admin a day. Perhaps this can be todays.

MurielsBottom Tue 27-Mar-18 08:57:50

Definitely apply for the blue badge. We got one last year for dh and it is life changing. As I understand, it can be used whenever he is in the car, even if we arrive somewhere and dh is not well enough to get out, I can do the errand on his behalf. It belongs to the person not the vehicle as dh has used it when he has been out in his friend's car too.

We found the process really simple. Online application, three weeks later an appointment with a hugely helpful assessor and he had the badge a week later. The person who did the assessment works for the council as an occupational therapist and also put us in touch with the team who make adaptations to your home.

Also at the time dh had not his pip confirmed so the badge was awarded purely on his physical ability.

For the person that was asking about her dm with dementia - I do believe that this is taken into account and people are awarded blue badges if they cannot be left alone even for a minute due to safety.

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