Letter: Disintegration of services for the elderly

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The Independent Online
Sir: Over the past few weeks you have published several articles on the care of the elderly and how they are affected by the new Care in the Community scheme. We are an Age Concern group of 48 voluntary members running a day centre, luncheon club, advice centre and home visiting scheme for the elderly who live in this small town and its surrounding villages.

Therefore, like other Age Concern groups, we are at the sharp end of the voluntary sector and are made aware daily of the problems faced by the elderly. For instance, the provision of domestic cleaning assistance, which used to be carried out by the old Home Help service, has almost ceased under the Care in the Community scheme because the increase in tasks has not been matched by the necessary increase in resources. This has caused problems for, and distress to, elderly people who cannot easily change the sheets on their beds or clean a floor.

We have therefore decided to increase our services by setting up a register of domestic cleaners in our area who would be willing to clean for elderly people, but this extra task for us would not be necessary if Care in the Community was properly funded.

Yours faithfully,

DENNIS VINCE

Kingsbridge Age Concern

Devon

20 August

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