Letter: Reality of care for the elderly

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The Independent Online
Sir: Perhaps my father's experience may illustrate your story 'NHS 'abandoning its long-term care for elderly' ' (17 March). He is 84, frail and suffering from circulatory disease. Eighteen months ago, he visited in hospital a widowed neighbour, also in her eighties, who had had a stroke. He agreed to collect her from hospital. When he did so, the hospital authorities discharged her into his care. Ever since then, she has been housebound, and he has struggled to do her shopping, collect her pension and generally look after her.

When, recently, she fell and broke her arm, it was only because he checks on her regularly that she was saved from lying in pain for hours. She gets no home help, because the social services want to charge pounds 7 an hour, in view of her income, and she refuses to pay this as it is above market rates.

This is the reality of community care for the elderly.

Yours faithfully,

M. GUIRDHAM

Montacute,

Somerset

17 August

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