Gransnet forums


The joys of bureaucracy!

(18 Posts)
Luckygirl Sat 08-Aug-20 09:33:11

I am hoping to move house soon and will need a stair lift there and some rails on outside some steps. I already have a stairlift company who have said they can do it for a reasonable amount, but thought it might be worth talking to an OT to make sure I was getting the best sort of rails etc. I contacted Community Therapy Services, found the right office for the area and arranged with them that I would let them know when I have a move date. All fine so far.

I asked if there might be financial help towards this and if the financial rules were the same as for other care needs. They did not know and gave me the number of the SS who, they said, would be able to help me.

Rang the SS - no, not their thing and to ring therapy services. Er......I've just rung them and they said to ring you. Silly conversation ensued, after which I threw in the towel and sent an email.

Phone call response to that email:

- "I'm ringing you about your email"
- "Oh thanks!"
- "In order to get any help you have to be assessed by Therapy Services"
- "Yes - all that is organised, as I explained in my email. I am just needing to know about the finances. Are the rules the same as SS?"
- "No you need the Home Improvement Agency."
- "Who are they?"
- "A central government agency."
- What do they do?"
- They can assess you for a Disabled Facilities Grant"
- "How does that work?"
- "Well, you need an assessment from Therapy Services"
- "Yes - I have already organised that." [there ensued a lengthy conversation to convince her of that!]
- "You have to go onto the Ferret Renovator website [I kid you not!].
- "Ah - what is that"
- "It will tell you what you might have to pay."
- "Do you have the web address?"
- "Yes, but you cannot access it unless you pay"
- "Ah - how much do I have to pay?"
- "I don't know."
[I then took a new tack.....]
- "How long does it take to get the grant?"
- "It depends what you want."
- "I need some outdoor rails and a stair lift indoors."
- " Are the stairs straight?"
- "No."
- "Ah - well that will take longer"
- "Could you tell me roughly how long please?"
- "About a year"
- "I could have fallen down the stairs dozens of times by then."
- "Yes."
- "I think I will just borrow the money"
[Conversations ends]


Luckygirl Sat 08-Aug-20 09:37:58

Just looked up Ferret - £95 to use the software!!!!

Callistemon Sat 08-Aug-20 09:42:47

All designed to stop you getting the help you need, Luckygirl

honeyrose Sat 08-Aug-20 09:46:18

You just couldn’t make it up, could you?! Bureaucracy gone mad, as my late father would have said! Good luck with sorting it all out, Luckygirl! You’ll need the patience of a saint!

BlueSky Sat 08-Aug-20 09:53:24

Lucky I can only repeat your words: unbelievable! Dealing with various authorities and companies, I'm amazed at the lack of coordination and knowledge between departments. I'm sure we didn't used to work like that!

midgey Sat 08-Aug-20 09:59:23

My husband was very keen on ...Part M of the building regulations......there should be no steps to a new build front door. Not sure if that is where you need the rails but....just in case!

Luckygirl Sat 08-Aug-20 10:10:29

midgey - so glad your OH has a fascinating hobby! grin

In fact there is a ramp up to the front door as per regs. But there are steps up to the garage at the back.

ninathenana Sat 08-Aug-20 10:16:59

How ruddy frustrating Luckygirl

Access to the garage should come under the same regs as the house IMHO angry

Callistemon Sat 08-Aug-20 11:08:29

I have a vision of you racing a mini up and down steps as in The Italian Job!

Sorry blush
It's serious, not funny.

I hope you get it sorted out.

Oopsadaisy3 Sat 08-Aug-20 11:14:03

MIL was assessed in her home for some rails outdoors as her pathway had a 4 ft drop onto the main road, it took about 2 months for them to be done.

She was actually in hospital at the time, came home and there they were.

Maybe you have to wait for them to come out and check your home.

Luckygirl Sat 08-Aug-20 11:29:06

Yes - several people have joked about the garage having steps up to it and asked if it is easier to reverse up! The steps are of course at the back! grin

I could have chosen the house next to it (it is a new build of 8 houses), which has a downstairs garage (!) but it did not have such lovely views - being that tiny bit higher, the house I am having has lovely views.

Tweedle24 Sat 08-Aug-20 11:45:17

I think this must depend on the area. When my husband developed Parkinsons, we were visited by an OT who arranged for railings to be put on the steps leading to the front door, indoor stairs and the loan of wheelchair etc, all very quickly and at no cost to us. We did pay for the main bathroom to be altered to accommodate his needs but, if we had not had the finances, that would have been paid for too. When he became more ill, we were loaned a hospital bed, and commode.

The rails were left, which was very useful when I had a knee replacement a couple of years ago. I was, at that time lent rails to go around my upstairs loo (bedrooms and main bathroom are downstairs) and a trolley to carry food and drinks from kitchen.

My husband’s assessment was arranged by our GP but, mine by the hospital. Have you contacted your GP?

Callistemon Sat 08-Aug-20 11:46:11

I miss having lovely views.
The view from here is fine - trees and a couple of other houses but it's not what you'd call a vista.

BlueSky Sat 08-Aug-20 12:35:34

Calli when we recently viewed a new modern retirement apartment, it had views of the back yard with the communal bins! At the moment we have sweeping views of the countryside, and it was more expensive than our semi! We are staying put!

midgey Sat 08-Aug-20 13:12:54

Luckygirl when you are wheelchair bound you can become somewhat militant! Sadly he died in April....I shall carry on his war!

Luckygirl Sat 08-Aug-20 15:37:10

midgey - sorry to hear about your OH. I truly can imagine the militancy that might flow from being in a wheelchair. Often the help is out there but you have to fight for it, and wait for it, and then wait some more..........

My OH died in February, and, for the year prior to that, life was simply a long long battle with bureaucracy, during which I felt I might be losing my mind. For instance, it took weeks and weeks and much phoning and tearing out of hair to get a member of the B&B team (Bladder and Bowels) to visit re his night incontinence, as the district nurses (who were already visiting) no longer provide incontinence supplies. Eventually a lady came, on the Friday before a Bank Holiday, and gave him ONE conveen condom - one!!! - they are only used once. How many nights did she think might elapse before any more might arrive? She did not know - this had to go through the GP, who had to prescribe it, but only after she had sent them a letter confirming the need for it, and they had managed to order them in..............yawn!

Everything was fine once it got set up, but it took about 6 weeks, and a lot of bed linen washing and indignity before they materialised.

Why, oh why does it have to be so complicated!!??

This is why I am just going to buy stairlift and rails myself, as I do not have the emotional energy to enter any more battles of this nature - they are guaranteed to drive you round the bend!

midgey Sat 08-Aug-20 15:53:20

Oh with you there Luckygirl, every single thing is a battle. Well done you for planning ahead!

BlueSky Sat 08-Aug-20 16:57:21

Oh Lucky having to cope with the bureaucracy and bad management of resources as well as the worry about your DH's health. Doesn't bear thinking about!