Case study: The alzheimer patients

Chris Stockwell, a 55-year-old charity worker from Stroud in Gloucester, is worried about the long-term future of herparents, who suffer from Alzheimer's and are in a nursing home.

Chris Stockwell, a 55-year-old charity worker from Stroud in Gloucester, is worried about the long-term future of herparents, who suffer from Alzheimer's and are in a nursing home.

Christopher Clack, 79, and wife, Rhoda, 76, pay £491 each a week for personal and medical care, nearly £50,000 a year, from their capital.

"They were very frugal and saved money for their old age, never imaging it would have to be spent in this way," Mrs Stockwell said.

"I think it is unreasonable that people should have to pay for health care they need as a result of a degenerative and terminal illness." Mrs Stockwell does not believe the new plans will financially benefit her parents.

"For people suffering from Alzheimer's, personal and medical care is so interlinked I don't see how they can be distinguished," she said.

"For someone suffering from dementia, they need someone very skilled to help them with personal care such as eating and getting dressed because they are sometimes very confused and need trained handling.

"The narrow definition of free nursing care put forward by the Government is very disappointing."

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