Tag Archives: cancer

This social care crisis is hitting very close to home

I’ll never have to worry about social care for my mum. But it’s another story for her mother – my grandma.

A couple of years before mum was diagnosed, she and my dad took the decision to bring my widowed grandma down from Middlesbrough to live with them.

Obviously my parents did not factor in that one of them might not be around to look after her. Some of the final months of my mum’s life were spent worrying about where her mother would live once she was gone.

When mum died, my father tried again to get grandma, who will be 100 in four years, into residential care. We were told she could go on the waiting list for a care home.

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How does your garden grow?

John Jeffry, the Carers Garden, Brighton

‘I go out in the country sometimes and take cuttings, put them in rooting compound, then stick them in the ground. Sloes and things like that’

John Jeffry: ‘Coming here was a break. It gave me a bit of focus. I like the company.’ Photograph: Sophia Evans for the Guardian

You feel on top of the world up here – it makes everything else seem so small. The Carers Centre set up this allotment to give people a few hours break from caring each week. When I heard about it I really wanted to come but couldn’t because my wife Ellen had Alzheimer’s. When she went into a nursing home, it was hard, but coming here was a break. It gave me a bit of focus. I like the company.

Big firms MUST change the insensitive way they treat bereaved families

 ‘When mum died, Lloyds made the grief even harder to bear

Close-knit: Money Mail writer Victoria Bischoff and her mum Julie, who died in April

  • When Victoria Bischoff’s mother Julie died in April, Lloyds were unhelpful
  • They made her call automated service and sent computer-generated letters
  • An insensitive customer service adviser asked a series of intrusive questions and didn’t know the rules about credit card debts
  • Other organisations such as the local council were much better 

Mum had been a customer at Lloyds Bank for around 25 years. The staff in her local branch in Coventry knew her well, so they had recognised me the moment I came through the door.

The woman behind the counter went pale. ‘You’re Julie’s daughter, aren’t you?’ she said. ‘I know what you’re here to say.’

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