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Elderly parents

Is It worth applying for attendance allowance?

126 replies

Icequeen01 · 30/11/2022 23:02

My DM had a fall in August and broke her hip. We think she fell due to her arthritic knee giving way. She was advised last year that she needs a knee replacement but the wait would be a couple of years so she decided she didn't want to go ahead with it! She's recovered amazingly well from her fall but now has to walk with a frame. She doesn't go out at all unless I take her so I take her shopping each week and to medical appointments. I managed to get her a Disabled Badge last year. She had a mobility scooter before her fall but can only use it when I am with her and has just used most of her savings to have a chairlift fitted in her house as she can't get up the stairs to her bathroom and bedroom otherwise is.

She also now has some memory and cognitive issues. No diagnosis as she gets upset if I even mention going to see her GP. I look after all her finances, make appointments, phone calls and do all her admin. I have to make up all her weekly tablet boxes and check that she's taken them each day. I now cook for her at least 4 times a week as since her fall I've noticed she doesn't cook properly for herself, just heats up soup, pies, quiches etc.

My DH thinks I should apply but I'm not convinced she would even qualify and the form is very off putting.

I know a lot of people on this board have experience so would be grateful for your advice as to whether you think it would be worth applying or I would be wasting my time.

OP posts:

rcat74 · 30/11/2022 23:07

Yes absolutely. I have filled the form in on behalf of clients who had no one else to do it. It’s not that bad.


SpottyStripyDuvet · 30/11/2022 23:12

I would apply as you have nothing to lose although it is a heck of a form. We have just applied for DM (arthritis, minor stroke in February, fall leading to broken hip in September). She can only leave the house with Dad's help, uses a frame, is on the verge of needing a stair lift etc. Mentally sharp but struggling with continence issues. I hadn't thought about it but it was suggested by GP who, I assume, deals with this type of situation on daily basis.


RainBow725 · 30/11/2022 23:32

Yes definitely. My mother is in a very similar situation and she has been awarded it. Took a while to come through though. Also worth looking into a pendant alarm if you haven't already. Should be available quite cheaply via the council.


CaronPoivre · 30/11/2022 23:35

Yes do and focus on what help she needs to do ordinary things - or would do if she were able to afford help to do.


Alphabet1spaghetti2 · 30/11/2022 23:35

Yes. It’s actually one of the easier forms to do. So much of it is repetitive. Just fill out as if it’s the worst day ever for her. Remember to include everything she needs help with especially if over night as that kicks it in to the higher category. List everything single aid she uses from spectacles, hearing aids to wheelchairs and personal care.


Seasider2017 · 30/11/2022 23:36

Also if you don’t work yourself and not got it already
carers allowance for yourself


Icequeen01 · 30/11/2022 23:47

Thank you all so much for the advice. I'm so grateful.

@RainBow725 We have got her a pendant alarm although we paid for this ourselves as didn't realise you could get one through the council!

@Seasider2017 Unfortunately I work full time during term time so can't apply for the Carers Allowance.

I will definitely apply having read all your comments and the Citizens Advice link which suggests keeping a diary for a week is a really good idea to make sure I capture everything.

OP posts:

LadyGardenersQuestionTime · 30/11/2022 23:47

Yes, and make sure you have lasting power of attorney too.


alongtimeagoandfaraway · 30/11/2022 23:55

Years ago I was advised to apply for attendance allowance for my dad as once he had that it would open the door to other support. Definitely do it.


Icequeen01 · 01/12/2022 00:00

LadyGardenersQuestionTime · 30/11/2022 23:47

Yes, and make sure you have lasting power of attorney too.

We do! Sadly both of my PILs suffered with dementia and we had a worrying time getting this in place for them when they deteriorated. This prompted us to ask my mum to do hers a couple of years ago to prevent us going through that trauma again.

We have even got ours in place to ensure our DS23 doesn't have this worry with us in the future!

OP posts:

alexdgr8 · 01/12/2022 00:02

it's good to have help filling in the form by people who know.
contact the local carers' centre and/or Age Uk for advice.
good luck.


QueenOfHiraeth · 01/12/2022 00:12

I claimed it for DM and, although the form was a faff as I was terrified of missing something important, it was approved and paid quickly
We have used it to get someone from an agency to go in once a week to help with housework, take her shopping or whatever she wants as I work and don't live locally to her so can't visit as often as I would like


Fizbosshoes · 01/12/2022 00:26

both my uncle and my dad had attendance allowance. Im pretty sure MacMillan helped my dad with the forms and iirc Age Uk helped my uncle.


Borntobeamum · 01/12/2022 08:21

My mum was awarded it a few weeks ago.
I was overwhelmed at the thought of filling in the form so did what I could and the manager of the care home did the difficult bit.
When I sat and read all that they have to do for her, I sobbed.
I sent it off and she was awarded the higher rate and it was backdated to the day I applied for the form.

Seriously, do it. Youve nothing to lose x


LIZS · 01/12/2022 08:28

Definitely. It is a passport benefit to access Carer's allowance and extra energy payments.


Limetreee · 01/12/2022 08:29

Most definitely apply. A lot of benefits go unclaimed which is a real shame. My friends mum doesn’t sound half as bad as yours, and has been claiming AA for over ten years. Good luck.


Trees6 · 01/12/2022 08:39

Definitely. And the “the worst day ever” advice from a PP is very sound. Be as negative as you can whilst remaining truthful.

It opens up the doors to other means-tested payments too. It may reduce council tax depending on location.

Look after yourself too and don’t do more than you can manage. Make sure that some of the AA money is spent on care or on a cleaner. The local social services can assess and sort out carers (they will ensure she takes her meds).


MrsMorton · 01/12/2022 08:44

Yes. Dad had his assessment yesterday and was told straight away he qualifies, not sure which rate.

OP, I have the form which I am happy to share once I've anonymised it. Dm me if you'd like.


gingergiraffe · 01/12/2022 09:03

It will be back dated from the day you apply I think. Certainly worth applying for.


TrixJax · 01/12/2022 09:06

Yes apply @Icequeen01
As PP has said fill it in how she is on a bad day.

"Assistance" can take the form of prompting, reminding, supervising as well as physical help. Also accompanying if she would otherwise be incapable of going herself.
Tie every answer back to this eg. Needs tablets sorted for her every week and needs daily prompting to take medication due to memory problems.
Needs reminding to take a shower due to memory problems and needs someone to supervise her for safety in case she falls.

Repetitively state memory problems snd poor mobility or whatever through the form

Good luck


MereDintofPandiculation · 01/12/2022 09:26

And the “the worst day ever” advice from a PP is very sound. Be as negative as you can whilst remaining truthful The second half of this is very important. It would be fraudulent to apply on the basis of something that doesn’t actually happen.

More help, I think, is to remember “a need that is met is still a need”. So think of the little work-arounds she has developed, eg does she slide a dish along the work surface around to where she wants it because she can no longer carry it?

Clearly she has mobility issues, can’t get around without zimmer, has scooter but needs supervision and assist to use it, can’t manage stairs. Presumably a lot of issues round things that need her to stand and use two hands. On top she has cognitive issues, can’t manage medication unaided etc. You can build a good case there.

It’s easier if she signs it not you, but it’s very distressing to read page after page of what you can’t do, so persuade her not to read it, that’s what I did with Dad, but I was present when another friend was being helped fill out the form, and. It was so upsetting for him.


MrsMorton · 01/12/2022 13:31

Yes, dad has never seen the form.


Icequeen01 · 01/12/2022 22:28

I can't tell you how grateful I am for all your advice. I will certainly complete the form on a worst day ever scenario. Today has been one of those days 😢

I will start the form this weekend. As some one up thread said, what have I got to lose.

I will update this thread when I have any news.

Thank you again.

OP posts:

Missillusioned78 · 01/12/2022 22:33

If the form is a double date stamped one you need to get it in by the second date. If late explain why at the back - eg waiting for help with completion.

if no date on it then date of claim will be date received so don’t delay sending it in.

if your mum is able to sign it’s quicker if she does.

you have to have had the needs for 6 months to be entitled so bear that in mind when answering when care needs started

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