Andrew* – 61 was referred to Disability Positive in December 2021 by his Social Worker for help and support in setting up a Direct Payment. Andrew was using a care agency but was finding the care package was not working for him, there was no flexibility and too many carers used to supply his 8 hour weekly care package.
What did we do to help?
After we spoke to Andrew at our first on-line meeting, Andrew told us that he has had several small strokes and although he was feeling well, he gets very tired. This tiredness means he feels down (fed-up) and doesn’t want to do anything. He told us that the carers that he has coming to him come at set times and days which isn’t when he needs them. Andrew would like to be able to go out on good days, so would like to be able to use the funding as and when. He says that he does feel a bit worried about looking after a Direct Payment even though he was previously in business, he isn’t as confident as he was.
We gave Andrew the confidence to try by taking things at his own pace and doing our best to support him. We encouraged him to check with his Social Worker to make sure the hours offered to him were correct, and how he was allowed to use them. We also told Andrew that if he didn’t use all of his hours, he would need to check with his Social Worker if he wanted to save them and use them later in the year.
We kept in touch with Andrew by telephone and sent a written letter of everything we had done and what we were going to do, we also sent our Information pack. We told Andrew that trying to get your own personal assistant (PA/carer) was very hard, but knew a couple of people that he would like to ask.
With regular help from us, Andrew was able to find two personal assistants who worked for themselves who lived nearby, and they were happy to offer the hours required and set up his direct payment. We told Andrew that it was very important to check the people who were going to work with him, and to make sure of the self employed status of the them. Andrew was happy to go ahead in January 2022.
Where we are now
We talked to Andrew and reviewed how everything was going, he said that he is extremely happy with his direct payment. His personal assistants are very reliable and help him to do tasks in his flat and take him shopping. He was really excited to tell us that he has been on several days out and had been able to take up his favourite hobby, painting.
Andrew was pleased that he been able to go to a local art class and even though he was only able to stay for an hour because he became tired, he really enjoyed it and was looking forward to the next one.
We asked Andrew how he felt now and asked if he was less fed-up (down) than when we first met.
“I am so much better. Knowing that the personal assistant’s are coming gives me the reason to get up and not lie in bed for most of the day. I look forward to their company and the independence to choose my own shopping and also go on outings. I am hoping to start painting again at home and am planning some trips for the summer”.
Andrew also said that the personal assistant’s help is making him more organised and he is not finding the Direct Payment hard to look after as he thought it would be.
*not real name