At the time I was in full time work and trying to keep up with extra care for both parents on evenings and weekends which was taking its toll so I was glad that she had some help to explain these things. My mother has high anxiety levels and gets confused easily however she doesn't see or accept this, and after we lost my sister two years ago this has understandably fuelled these issues. In my uneducated opinion she needs counselling yet this is never offered and she will not ask for it. We probably all know or have someone that does not accept help easily nor admit to actually being unable to do something. Growing up my mother was never ill, or rather she was ill but would never admit this, I've known her to be screaming in agony all night with sciatica yet still get up and drag herself up to do the things she feels she must. Her other problem is she is suspicious of medicines (especially now since she hears of all the side effects) so has never wanted to take medicines or tablets even though they would help, so instead I see her crying for days and not being able to move because of the one day she pushes herself too much. I can only assume that she has a higher pain tolerance than most people, or is more stubborn: I'm glad that these are the traits I inherited rather than the OCD and the anxiety breakdowns.
Overall the costs of having a PIP assessment have been thus:
A month of agonising stress (for both of us)
Taxi costs = £35
Drinks (to be able to get out of the cold due to no waiting room) = £5
Partners wage docked 15 mins due to lateness Bottle of wine (for me - believe me I needed it)
The knowledge of the next few days in pain for her and hearing about the incoming result for the next 6 weeks
I can't help but think that it would just have been easier to get extra work and just give her the money myself.
Overall my thoughts on the whole process were this:
Capita or whoever is in charge of the management of these assessments should really be thinking about the people who they are assessing. I am well aware of the need to crack down on people trying to play the system but in my opinion these are the people that will get through anyway as they know exactly what to say and how to tick the boxes. All we are doing like this is penalising actual disabled and vulnerable people. The staff inside (not the lower building ones) were friendly and polite and I couldn't fault them for doing their jobs as well as they could, hopefully the management team consult them for future changes.
My advice for Capita Management:
• You need to get buildings that either have parking in walkable distance or a bus stop outside.
• You should provide a waiting room for people with acceptable space and in the warmth - you cannot expect elderly people to wait outside in the cold (or heat in summer). Surely your medical professional can tell you that this is not good thing for people who cannot regulate their temperature as easily as others.
• You should be providing open doors push button access to toilets not having people who are already embarrassed to ask someone to do this.
• You should not have staff that seem uncomfortable around people with disabilities or are blatantly rude. If this is the building rather than your own workers then this is still your issue
• You should allow your workers ample time to prepare for the day and pay them accordingly.
• You should give your main receptionist a raise and ask her for tips on how best to run the business as she shone throughout.
Sorry about the ridiculously long post - It's been a long day *slumps*