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Our housing conditions have forced me out of work and into a carer role


People who are unable to walk and totally reliant on a wheelchair will find there are many barriers to finding somewhere to live. If you are lucky and your incapacity comes when you own your own home, you will be able to apply for a disability grant to help make modifications to your home. But only so long as you don’t have over the prescribed limit in savings and income.

For those who rent you will be left with a myriad of choices all extremely unpalatable and in varying degrees unworkable.

We have been looking for a home (rather than just a roof over our heads) for the last 5 years. Currently we live in a small first floor, two-bedroom flat which is totally unsuitable and unsafe for both my husband and anyone caring for him. We have written to the council explaining why we need to move and they have given us a high medical priority for housing. Unfortunately though the specialised housing we need does not exist in the councils housing stock.

So far we have been offered bungalows which would also be unsuitable and would lead to us swapping our current unsafe conditions for even more problems such as

  • serious infection control issues,
  • rooms not big enough to allow for free access of a wheelchair,
  • having to give away possessions to squeeze us in,
  • socially isolating Hubby even more than presently,
  • no storage space or room for rehabilitation equipment,
  • no cognisance taken of the fact that not only a home but a place of work for full time care workers.

Seems the private rental sector is unavailable to mobility restricted renters, but the local authorities / social housing associations are not providing it either.

This has left us in an impossible position, even though my husband has qualified for NHS fully funded continuing health care, his allocated care agency has refused to supply care workers due to the Health and Safety concerns  of where we live, leaving me, dangerously, as my husband’s full time 24/7 carer, and unable to work.

Written by Angela Cavill-Burch | Posted on 27th February 2015

Angela Cavill-Burch a professionally qualified Manager with International experience but currently full time carer for high level spinally injured Husband.