Anger at ‘scandalous’ rise in charges for mum’s home help

A son who looks after his elderly mum says her care bill is set to triple to more than £18,000 under changes being introduced by the city council.

Friday, June 01, 2012

Widow Vera Hunt, 87, is disabled following a stroke four years ago. She is double incontinent with dementia and requires two carers to attend to her four times a day.

  1. ​Her son, Martin, 55, gave up his job and house to help care for Vera at the pensioner’s home in Wintersdale Road, near Uppingham Road, Leicester, but says her life savings will now be drained to pay for increased charges.

He is angry and deeply upset that every penny of savings put away by his parents, who had paid their taxes all their life, would have to be spent on his mum’s elderly care.

“She contributes more than £6,000 a year and because I’m looking after her she isn’t a burden to the local authority,” said Martin.

“I need carers to come in and help hoist her out of bed and change her incontinent pads, but apart from that I’m doing everything else.

“She’s my mum and I love her so I don’t begrudge that, but these increases mean she will pay more than £18,000 a year out of her savings.

“They’re not going to last very long and if she did have to go into a nursing home, it wouldn’t pay for a decent one for even a year.”

Councillors approved plans last month to generate an extra £827,000 revenue by charging more for non-residential adult care services in the city.

The decision means the removal of the £203 maximum weekly cap that anyone has to pay for home care, such as help getting dressed and washed.

Those who require two carers will now be charged for both, where previously only one had to be paid for, and their hourly rate is also set to rise from £11.25 to £12.42.

Individuals with more than £23,250 savings have to pay the maximum for their care. Those with less will have their incomes examined to see how much contribution they can make.

Mr Martin said the increases were “scandalous” .

He claimed the consultation carried out by the council ahead of the changes couldn’t possibly have engaged all the people who would be affected.

He has urged city mayor Sir Peter Soulsby to reverse the decision.

Leicester City Council insists those who can’t afford to pay will still get support, but it is not fair to subsidise services for those who can make contributions.

Councillor Mohammed Dawood, assistant mayor for adult social care and housing, said he was unable to comment on individual cases but said: “If savings are reduced to below £23,250, individuals may be charged less than the full cost.

“If savings fall below £14,250, they will not affect the financial assessment at all.”

Nearly 1,000 elderly and disabled people will be affected by the council’s changes.

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