current housing situation

ChasLewis62 Member Posts: 4
I an almost 55 alone but with support from friends. My situation has got worse recently and not just because the colder weather is upon us, Due to reductions in my disability benefit I have been forced to lose my rented bungalow and now live in a caravan (No Fixed Abode) I have 4 months until I can apply for supported housing which my local area MHT will help me with my application.

Obviously my living conditions have now become drastically bad for my health, as I also have many other ailments including Asthma, Coeliac Disease, Hypothyroidism, and of course MH issues and more, but such is life (some people are in a worse condition than me for housing) I have recently found it hard to prepare ordinary meals for myself and my daughter bought me a slow cooker which I can just throw everything in and wait, wouldn't be without it anymore.

Getting back to arthritis, so many people dont understand the pain we suffer and not just that but the tiredness that follows from it, I have days where I just want to lay on the sofa (caravan seat) and do nothing, and these days it even is too much to get up and eat, My appetite over the last 12 months has gone down to where I find it really hard to eat a full meal anymore, (my daughter took me out for a meal and I ate a burger and about 8 chips.

I have made an appointment to see my doctor next week to discuss the pain and loss of control in my legs as they keep giving way on most days now.

Thank you for allowing me to at least write my life on here.



  • Amble
    Amble Member Posts: 32
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Words are rather inadequate to reply. I am just so deeply sorry for your predicament.
  • applerose
    applerose Member Posts: 3,621
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    How terrible you have lost your home because your disability benefit has been reduced. It's shameful that you are forced to wait 4 months before you can apply for supported housing. What if the caravan wasn't available? Would they expect you to sleep in the street? I really hope you can get some help soon. Take care.
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 26,917
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello Chas and a warm welcome from me too. Like the others I'm not one of our lovely Helpline people just an ordinary forum member but, as things might be a bit slow over the holiday period, I thought I'd jump in.

    Last line first – this isn't your life, Chas, only a part of it. We are all more than the sum of our ailments and, in your case, I can see much more there. You have great resilience to have come through all that. You have picked yourself up and adapted to new, more difficult, ways and with no trace of self pity or resentment. Not many could achieve that.

    Slow cookers are great and provide healthy, nutritious meals. I also find that any meal that I can prepare in stages, with rests in between, is good – lasagne, cottage pie, fish pie and, of course, my husband's favourite laugh, “Your oven stir fry”. (I'm not good at standing and stirring for ages so I chop the stuff up and bung it in the oven instead either with a drop of oil or a sauce.)

    Full meals can be overrated. The main thing is to get healthy food in, in bits being just as good as all in one go. Fruit, raw veg, soups are all good. (Can you really eat burger and chips with coeliac?)

    Reading your post I can't help but wonder if you've ever seen a rheumatologist. Asthma and coeliac are both autoimmune conditions and so is the most common form of hypothyroidism. Logically you are a prime candidate for an autoimmune form of arthritis and, if you've not seen a rheumatologist, I suggest you ask. GPs sometimes do a simple blood test and conclude on the basis of that whether or not the patient should be referred to a rheumatologist or simply treated for OA but many GPs seem blissfully unaware that some forms of autoimmune arthritis give a negative result on the test.

    Please let us know how you get on with the doc. I do hope he / she can help but do remember that we are here and we understand all too well the difficulties of living with arthritis.
  • helpline_team
    helpline_team Posts: 2,689
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Chas,

    I am sorry it has taken us a little while to respond to your post and really sorry to hear about your current living situation.

    It sounds extremely difficult. I wonder if you have been in touch with your local Citizens Advice Bureau to talk through what your options might be. Perhaps they can come up with something that hasn’t been thought of yet. You could also contact Shelter (0808 800 4444 8am – 8pm).

    In terms of your arthritis, I am presuming it is osteoarthritis that you have (let us know if not). I hope by now you will have seen your GP and they will have been able to help with the pain side of things. Everything can feel really unmanageable when you are in a pain cycle you feel you can’t get out of. There are things you can do to help, such as keeping yourself moving when you can – doing a bit of activity each day can strengthen the muscles surrounding the joints, reducing discomfort and helping you to feel more steady on your feet. You could also look into physio for more targeted exercises – the GP can refer you and in some areas you can refer yourself.

    You also might find it useful to look at our Managing Pain booklet here:

    Feeling tired much of the time isn’t uncommon when you have arthritis. Here is our factsheet that explains a bit more:

    With regards to appetite, having easy snacks spread through the day might be easier to face rather than a big meal, (a handful of nuts, oatcakes and hummus etc.) though I do agree that the slow cooker is a fantastic idea.

    I do appreciate how difficult things are for you at the moment, having someone to talk to can often help. You are more than welcome to call us on our Freephone helpline number (0808 800 4050 Mon-Fri 10am-4pm). We would be happy to hear from you.

    I hope this helps,

    Best wishes,
    Emma-Jane (Helplines)

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