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How should society take care of the long term sick?

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    I would be interested on how you think society should look after people with long term health problems that affect their ability to work. For example I suffer from a life long condition which if I am not working and on ESA as I currently am, am not subject to stress psychological or enviromental, am able to get lots of rest, look after myself and crucially take time out when I do get ill then my health does tend to get better so that while I can't do all the things a normal person can do i.e. I still couldn't go out clubbing or get drunk etc I could do things like take an evening class, do some volunteering, go swimming, meet a friend for tea and so on.

    However once I reach that level of good health I tend to be pitched back on to JSA. If I get a job then very soon my health begins to go down hill. In most work places I am exposed to various enviromental stressors which trigger my condition. Once my condition is exacerbated and I start to experiance more attacks things tend to degerate further as my condition is degerative. If I am working I might be able to take short periods off but not really the time I need to fully recover from my attacks or medication side effect. Add to this increasing stress as my worsening health means I fail to keep up with the demands of the job, my employers patience wears thin as I struggle to do the job they took me on to do.

    Often I end up in a position where I am either let go or end up too ill to work back on sickness benefits until recover and then it all starts again. I do want to work and am currently exploring ways of working self employed or from home o that I would be able to support myself and manage my condition but in reality after speaking to some self employed people it is often more stressful than having a job.

    In the past you could do some self employed work and claim incapacity benefit or income support to to up your earnings if you were not making enough to get by on but the current government is making this increasingly difficult to do.

    Also now if you suffer an illness and have a partner who works unless you are in the support group where very few are you lose all benefit after one year. What with wages frozen for many and the risng cost of living this is putting terrible pressue on sick people go out and take jobs which will very often make them ill.

    It could split up once supportive relationships under the pressure of the sick or disabled partners poor health along with money worries and may even put sick people off from entering into relationships at all.

    I think there is a question of how we as a society support people with health problems that both affect their ability to work and are often made worse by working. I know for all the people who do work hard it must be annoying if a person down the street doesn't work and gets benefits for ill health especially if to an outsider they look ok but as somone who as been in that position I would love to be well enough to work, to go out and have fun, to travel, have a career and do all the things everyone else does but I have a neurological disease which prevents me from living a full life and I am only ok is I live very gently, taking great care of myself, but I do need support.

    So if anyone has read all this I would like to know what you think am I entitled to this support in your opinion? How should our society care for people who have long term health issues which are mostly manageable when not working or even very small amounts of work but still relying on state support but when a that person needs to go out and work full time they always rapidly get very ill again should that person be repeatedly forced to work if it makes them ill?

    I would be very interested to know what you think?
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    They shouldn't be forcing people who are so ill that things like getting up, getting dressed, washing, eating, etc. are difficult. It makes no sense.

    They do need to leave the long term sick alone. I know someone with a progressive non-terminal illness. Within one year, she had been sent 3 forms to check whether she was still ill. On the third occasion, she had to have a medical. The doctor she saw was not pleased about having to see her - it was clear to him that she's so ill there's no way she can work.

    You shouldn't be forced to work if it will make you ill.
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    (Original post by OU Student)
    They shouldn't be forcing people who are so ill that things like getting up, getting dressed, washing, eating, etc. are difficult. It makes no sense.

    They do need to leave the long term sick alone. I know someone with a progressive non-terminal illness. Within one year, she had been sent 3 forms to check whether she was still ill. On the third occasion, she had to have a medical. The doctor she saw was not pleased about having to see her - it was clear to him that she's so ill there's no way she can work.

    You shouldn't be forced to work if it will make you ill.
    That is indeed appalling treatment of your friend. It sounds like she has no improvement in her health whether she is working or not and should most certainly be given every support possible to make her comfortable.

    I would have hoped that such obvious cases of illness were not being harrased like this. That they are doesn't bode well for others.

    I think my point was about cases of illness perhaps more subtle or hidden those that vary or are relapse and remitting. Where working can take the moderate level of hard won health a person has managed to attain while on ESA and basically lay it to waste in a matter of weeks when they are forced back into work.
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    (Original post by MASeeker)
    That is indeed appalling treatment of your friend. It sounds like she has no improvement in her health whether she is working or not and should most certainly be given every support possible to make her comfortable.

    I would have hoped that such obvious cases of illness were not being harrased like this. That they are doesn't bode well for others.
    One issue my friend has is depression. There's a load of paperwork done by social services about her. (care plan, etc) Within this paperwork, it states she shouldn't be put in stressful situations - including being sent benefit forms.

    Her MP got involved and the DWP said that because she's not terminally ill, she has to undergo the same tests as everyone else. What is the point of testing someone who is only going to get worse?

    Like many disabled people, she would love to work and did so until she was unable to. But, it's impossible with relapses.
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    (Original post by OU Student)
    One issue my friend has is depression. There's a load of paperwork done by social services about her. (care plan, etc) Within this paperwork, it states she shouldn't be put in stressful situations - including being sent benefit forms.

    Her MP got involved and the DWP said that because she's not terminally ill, she has to undergo the same tests as everyone else. What is the point of testing someone who is only going to get worse?

    Like many disabled people, she would love to work and did so until she was unable to. But, it's impossible with relapses.
    Well I hope that they leave your friend in peace but sadly I think that as time goes on things will only be made more difficult for sick and disabled people who rely on state support.
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    Having seen my dad go through the benefit process, it is astounding how little they know about certain conditions and you can tell when they are on the phone to you that they are following a screens instructions.

    My dad has had epilepsy pretty much all his life. His medicine originally controlled his fits, and he was able to work as a joiner. But then his grand mal seizures started to creep back, and now he can't work or drive. He is currently in the process of being accepted to have part of his brain removed in the hope it stops his seizures. The worrying thing is, is that afterwards my dad wants to start working again, but he won't be able to be a joiner again.. but he won't be able to get a normal part time job like you or I as he has no qualifications whatsoever. He is severely dyslexic, his memory will remain impaired because of the fits, and his behaviour is slightly altered. Who is going to employ him then? And what are the benefits people going to say? They are currently supportive of him and he is in a support group, but what is their procedure for after something like this? Nothing is clear cut for the long term ill, which makes things all the more worse.
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    I feel like the significance attributed to benefit fraud by the government is far larger than it needs to be. Yes, there are people cheating the benefits system, including those who pretend to be more ill than they are, but I don't think the financial impact of this is anywhere near as big as is claimed (compared to, say, tax evasion/avoidance, which seems to be taken less seriously and typically involves far larger sums). Putting sick people under so much pressure to prove they're sick - to the point of harassing them - is without question an ideological objection to supporting sick individuals, and not an effective way of minimising benefit fraud.
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    (Original post by insignificant)
    Having seen my dad go through the benefit process, it is astounding how little they know about certain conditions and you can tell when they are on the phone to you that they are following a screens instructions.

    My dad has had epilepsy pretty much all his life. His medicine originally controlled his fits, and he was able to work as a joiner. But then his grand mal seizures started to creep back, and now he can't work or drive. He is currently in the process of being accepted to have part of his brain removed in the hope it stops his seizures. The worrying thing is, is that afterwards my dad wants to start working again, but he won't be able to be a joiner again.. but he won't be able to get a normal part time job like you or I as he has no qualifications whatsoever. He is severely dyslexic, his memory will remain impaired because of the fits, and his behaviour is slightly altered. Who is going to employ him then? And what are the benefits people going to say? They are currently supportive of him and he is in a support group, but what is their procedure for after something like this? Nothing is clear cut for the long term ill, which makes things all the more worse.
    Your poor Dad! I am very familiar with uncontrolled epilepsy and how debilitating it is. That surgery sounds drastic but yes as is so often the case he is proud and wants to work even if is health and other difficulties make that problematic.

    It is hard to say how they will deal with your fathers case after his surgery but the general trend I am seeing at the moment is that hardly anybody is kept in the support group for long. The days of "long term support" are over and ESA is to be seen as a temporary measure for all but a few.

    The old Incapacity Benefit would have allowed your Dad to have long term financial support as he could still have done some work as and when he could perhaps self employed but with the new system while this option still exists if you do it you will probably find yourself loosing your ESA.

    There is also of course the issue of the economy at the moment, few companies are hiring and people with prior and ongoing health issues are often the first to be overlooked by employers. There was some talk by a tory backbencher Philip Davies, a while ago about making the sick and disabled exempt from the minimum wage allowing them to be paid less then able bodied people so that they had a better chance of getting a job, never mind the impoverished wages, pretty disgraceful if you ask me. This was obviously given short shrift but I don't think it will be too long before we see it come up again only taken more seriously, especially as the minimum wage is already under attack.

    My best wishes to your father for his surgery and recovery.
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    (Original post by Chumbaniya)
    I feel like the significance attributed to benefit fraud by the government is far larger than it needs to be. Yes, there are people cheating the benefits system, including those who pretend to be more ill than they are, but I don't think the financial impact of this is anywhere near as big as is claimed (compared to, say, tax evasion/avoidance, which seems to be taken less seriously and typically involves far larger sums). Putting sick people under so much pressure to prove they're sick - to the point of harassing them - is without question an ideological objection to supporting sick individuals, and not an effective way of minimising benefit fraud.
    You are right it is ideological the tories have always been idividualists if person makes a lot of money by exploiting his workers and then can afford to pay the best accountents and lawyers to avoid paying tax then good on him, give that man a tax cut. However if a person of humble means falls on hard times, if they are out of work due to what is a global crisis then they must accept an ever decreacing standard of living, and have whatever state support they once had removed. It is just the tory way, always has been always will be. Compassionate conservatism is a fallacy.
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    I am/was in a similar position, i have been unable to work full time for ages due to having Crohns disease. I would try to get some work, and within a week of having it, i would be having a serious flare up and i would be unable to keep working. It did seem to be exacerbated by stressful situations, alot of the time work scenarios so it made it impossible for me to hold down a job. I have been fortunate that people who question me about my illness have known what it is, and have not made me run around in circles trying to prove how debilitating it is.
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    (Original post by daviesblue)
    I am/was in a similar position, i have been unable to work full time for ages due to having Crohns disease. I would try to get some work, and within a week of having it, i would be having a serious flare up and i would be unable to keep working. It did seem to be exacerbated by stressful situations, alot of the time work scenarios so it made it impossible for me to hold down a job. I have been fortunate that people who question me about my illness have known what it is, and have not made me run around in circles trying to prove how debilitating it is.
    Well that is good that people have been understanding, have you been able to get the support from the state you require?

    It is a real issue with conditions that vary under the new ESA system where if not working allows you a modicum of good health they assume you are 100% cured and able to go back to work which often isn't the case. Often as with us work just makes us ill again and finding sustainable employment that provides us with enough income to survive without having a dramatically negative impact on our health can be incredibally difficult especially at these times, when employers can pick and choose.
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    (Original post by insignificant)
    Having seen my dad go through the benefit process, it is astounding how little they know about certain conditions and you can tell when they are on the phone to you that they are following a screens instructions.
    The people making the decisions aren't medically trained. I've noticed that them dealing with someone (like me) who has multiple disabilities, seems to be impossible too. Actually, my needs are obvious if you think about it.

    Who is going to employ him then?
    This is the problem so many disabled people have. Going self employed isn't possible because of the workload and you have to be available to work.

    I know someone (actually, have had heard a few say this) who was found fit for work and was told he's too ill to claim job seekers allowance. He's been stuck on the ESA assessment rate for 170 weeks and counting. Where's the logic in that?:confused:

    Your dad has my sympathy. I had epilepsy as a child, my dad has it (controlled, thankfully) and a relative has it - but they can't control it.
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    They should be asked if they want their life to end, and if they say yes it should be ended and if they say no, they should be cared for as usual.
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    (Original post by No Man)
    They should be asked if they want their life to end, and if they say yes it should be ended and if they say no, they should be cared for as usual.
    Well as someone who has an illness but can be well given the right conditions I certainly do not want my life to end! But I take it you joking?
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    (Original post by MASeeker)
    Well as someone who has an illness but can be well given the right conditions I certainly do not want my life to end! But I take it you joking?
    I was referring to people who are paralysed from the shoulders down, etc. And also I wasn't joking.

    I didn't really read the opening post, since I thought this was going to be a euthanasia thread. However if the people are capable of living life like everyone else for the most part then society should help them in finding jobs they are capable of doing with minimal stress.

    Is your condition an adrenal condition by the way?
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    (Original post by No Man)
    I was referring to people who are paralysed from the shoulders down, etc. And also I wasn't joking.
    Well what is your view on people who are not quadriplegic but are too ill to have a normal work life, should they be supported?
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    With depression, I always thought it's better to go out and live life than be cooped up in doors, what good will wallowing alone with no distractions do? Why not take the medication as needed, and LIVE

    I've never had depression, and haven't known anyone who had to bad enough to be deemed unable to work, or wasn't medicated, so I guess others know better than me?
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    (Original post by Skip_Snip)
    With depression, I always thought it's better to go out and live life than be cooped up in doors, what good will wallowing alone with no distractions do? Why not take the medication as needed, and LIVE

    I've never had depression, and haven't known anyone who had to bad enough to be deemed unable to work, or wasn't medicated, so I guess others know better than me?
    Well I don't know about depression either, my health can get me down but I am not depressed myself. However a friend of mine who is a psychiatrist says that for a lot of depressed people they have had a lot of stress and trauma in childhood and while medication can help they need other support such as therapy and so on but it is just not available here in the UK due to lack of funds. So quite often people with depression and anxiety are just getting by but they don't get the chance to fully heal.

    If someone is fit and well they might have off days, days they cannot be bothered with work but they probably can't quite understand what it feels like to know your losing your grip on everything because your body or your mind just won't support you!

    It is tough because being "left to rot on benefits" sounds awful and even I have thought depressed people should just give themselves a shake, get out there, meet people etc I have been felt they have good physical health so it should be easy for them but that would be the same as someone telling me to take a paracetamol and get over my condition, not possible.
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    (Original post by Skip_Snip)
    With depression, I always thought it's better to go out and live life than be cooped up in doors, what good will wallowing alone with no distractions do? Why not take the medication as needed, and LIVE
    What good is that when work can and does make depression worse? Giving that some of us are sometimes in a zombie like state whereby getting up and eating is difficult, working is just going to make it much harder. When I had depression a few years ago, getting up was difficult - never mind working.

    I've never had depression, and haven't known anyone who had to bad enough to be deemed unable to work, or wasn't medicated, so I guess others know better than me?
    Says it all really. Not everyone with depression can work. Some are so debilitated by their depression that they're hospitalised.
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    (Original post by MASeeker)
    Your poor Dad! I am very familiar with uncontrolled epilepsy and how debilitating it is. That surgery sounds drastic but yes as is so often the case he is proud and wants to work even if is health and other difficulties make that problematic.

    It is hard to say how they will deal with your fathers case after his surgery but the general trend I am seeing at the moment is that hardly anybody is kept in the support group for long. The days of "long term support" are over and ESA is to be seen as a temporary measure for all but a few.

    The old Incapacity Benefit would have allowed your Dad to have long term financial support as he could still have done some work as and when he could perhaps self employed but with the new system while this option still exists if you do it you will probably find yourself loosing your ESA.

    There is also of course the issue of the economy at the moment, few companies are hiring and people with prior and ongoing health issues are often the first to be overlooked by employers. There was some talk by a tory backbencher Philip Davies, a while ago about making the sick and disabled exempt from the minimum wage allowing them to be paid less then able bodied people so that they had a better chance of getting a job, never mind the impoverished wages, pretty disgraceful if you ask me. This was obviously given short shrift but I don't think it will be too long before we see it come up again only taken more seriously, especially as the minimum wage is already under attack.

    My best wishes to your father for his surgery and recovery.

    (Original post by OU Student)
    The people making the decisions aren't medically trained. I've noticed that them dealing with someone (like me) who has multiple disabilities, seems to be impossible too. Actually, my needs are obvious if you think about it.



    This is the problem so many disabled people have. Going self employed isn't possible because of the workload and you have to be available to work.

    I know someone (actually, have had heard a few say this) who was found fit for work and was told he's too ill to claim job seekers allowance. He's been stuck on the ESA assessment rate for 170 weeks and counting. Where's the logic in that?:confused:

    Your dad has my sympathy. I had epilepsy as a child, my dad has it (controlled, thankfully) and a relative has it - but they can't control it.
    thankyou so much the both of you. I am grateful to be able to talk to people who understand our families problem! The reason why he is having part of his brain removed is because he gone through the entire kaleidoscope of medication you can have and nothing controls it, and luckily his seizures start off in one section of his brain so they are going to remove that and then hopefully that will solve his seizures, although he will be on medication forever, and won't be able to go back to his old job of being a joiner as he can't operate machinery, and the effect all the thousands of seizures on his brain has been astronomical, like its almost made him have OCD, he won't let me open windows in the house because he thinks wasps will come in and build nests even though its really hot out. He gets his words confused so easily like instead of saying ''you will be bothered'' he will say ''you will be mattered''. He constantly cleans up everywhere all the time yet doesn't do the things that need doing like hoovering or polishing. He can remember something he did when he was 5 on the army base in Cyprus, but he can't remember what my mum told him to do his morning. Its so hard, and what is he supposed to do ?

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