I want to tell you a story, a true story and then I want you to tell me if it makes any sense to you.
The reason I ask is because I have once again been astounded by the lack of help/care available from the very services I always assumed were there to give this help.
Let me explain, to do this I need to introduce you to a family I know, I am not going to use their real names so I will call them Ms B and Ms J for the use of this blog.
These two ladies are sisters, they currently live in a 3 bedroom council house where they have lived all their lives with their mother.
Ms B is 59 years old and her sister Ms J is 57, both ladies have learning difficulties and neither have ever had a relationship to my knowledge. I believe Ms J worked for a while in a factory many years ago until the factory closed down and her family circumstances changed.
Ms B has never been able to work as along with her learning difficulties she also suffers with fits, I believe these fits are epilepsy but they are frequent and often quite violent.
As the ladies mother grew older she needed help to care for Ms B and Ms J became the carer for them both.
Sadly two months ago the ladies mother died aged 95. Even though the sisters have never known anywhere else they have been told they must leave the council house and would be rehoused in a one bedroom flat each.
This caused fear among the ladies as Ms B is clearly unable to care for herself but because of the difficulties they both have in understanding neither knew what to do and so did nothing. I don't know who intervened on their behalf or wether the council worked it out for themselves eventually but this was changed recently to a two bedroom flat for them to live in together, however they are still supposed to be looking 'on line' every fortnight for a suitable place, their time is running out as they have to be out of their current home by the end of September.
Bad enough for them to be trying to get through? well I bumped into Ms J today and she told me Ms B fell out of bed during a seizure Sunday night and has broken her hip, she is waiting in hospital for an operation, Ms J was concerned as she told me that she herself had to 'sign on' for her JSA tomorrow and Ms B was supposed to be signing on next week!
Apparently they had been on JSA for the past year as they were advised by the benefits that this was the benefit they were entitled to.
Just consider this for a minute, these two ladies have no real understanding of the world, society or their lives, they certainly do not understand the benefits system and were just doing what they were told.
This means that once a fortnight for at least the past year these ladies have gone and sat down with an advisor, the advisor supposedly asks them what they have done to try to secure employment and tries to assist them to find employment!
Now tell me, is it me? These two ladies are clearly vulnerable and believe me it is clear to see that they are, so what is this advisor/advisors doing?
What are they thinking when either of these ladies sit infront of them?
What assistance do they believe they are giving them?
I am not going to even attempt any answers here, I am just asking, is this for real? Where is the help?