Daughter's dismay as mother's care costs set to rise by 35 per cent

The Northern Echo: COSTS RISING: Lynne Snowball's frail mother is facing a 35 per cent rise in the cost of her sheltered accommodation care COSTS RISING: Lynne Snowball's frail mother is facing a 35 per cent rise in the cost of her sheltered accommodation care

THE daughter of a frail 90-year-old woman has criticised the ‘unfairness’ of her mother’s care costs rising by 35 per cent.

Lynne Snowball’s mother lives in Mayflower Court extra care sheltered housing, in Yarm Road, Darlington.

Mrs Snowball, of Middleton St George, said her mother manages to maintain a level of independence in her own flat in the complex and receives ‘excellent care’ from staff.

She is faced with a 32.6 per cent rise in her mother’s hourly care costs, which Mrs Snowball describes as an ‘unacceptable level of increase’.

This is in addition to an earlier increase of two per cent, applied to personal care services, which came into force in October.

In a letter to Councillor Veronica Copeland, cabinet member for adult social care, Mrs Snowball sets out her objections to the increase, while also recognising the pressures on council budgets.

She wrote: “In no other circumstances would an increase of 35 per cent in a year be tolerated.

“It is being inflicted on the most vulnerable people, mainly the frail and very elderly, who have no options open to them in the delivery of the services essential to their daily life.

“The rate is extremely high against anything people outside the care service would pay for laundry or cleaning.

“In my mother’s case, she pays fully for her care, having had to sell her first floor family flat that she had lived in for 53 years to pay for her care.”

Mrs Snowball said the new level of charges will take up a large proportion of her mother’s pension income and she will have to draw on her limited savings.

During the cost-cutting process in recent years, council chiefs have always stressed the importance of protecting adult social care.

But Mrs Snowball accused the council of not adopting an open and transparent consultation process over this issue.

She added: “The council has written [to users] about the proposals to transfer personal care services to a private provider. There was no mention in of fee increases in any correspondence.

“Inadequate notice has been given of the increases – I was given only five days notice of a meeting with my mother to explain the changes, which are then being introduced after a further two months only.

“The council has not provided written proposals of the changes or given reasons for making them.”

Her letter to Coun Copeland, copied to council leader Bill Dixon, concluded: “The consultation has been framed in such a way as to limit the nature of comments that can be made.

“I hope you will take the significant concerns fully into account and recognise the unfairness of the changes on the most vulnerable people, people like my mother, who have contributed so much to our communities over the years and who now need the support of it.”

The council said it was unable to comment on individual cases.

A spokeswoman added: “Every service is under review, including charges regarding people’s personal care.

“In line with our fairer contributions policy, we have carried out assessments to identify where people have the financial means to contribute to their personal care.

“Out of more than 150 cases, this has affected less than 20 per cent of people.

“We can reassure residents that we will continue to work with families to meet the care needs of people in Darlington."

Comments (15)

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12:16pm Sat 25 Jan 14

stevegg says...

Yet they will spend £20k per year plus on a single drug addict for methadone treatment, which is for life for most, times that by tens of thousands of drug addicts (if not hundreds of thousands). As usual those who contribute to society and pay taxes get nothing whilst all the low lifes who contribute nothing get everything from those same taxpayers.
Yet they will spend £20k per year plus on a single drug addict for methadone treatment, which is for life for most, times that by tens of thousands of drug addicts (if not hundreds of thousands). As usual those who contribute to society and pay taxes get nothing whilst all the low lifes who contribute nothing get everything from those same taxpayers. stevegg
  • Score: 57

1:03pm Sat 25 Jan 14

David Lacey says...

Well said Steve. It is always the most vulnerable who are victimised. Drug addicts are there by choice. Getting old can only be avoided by dying early.
Well said Steve. It is always the most vulnerable who are victimised. Drug addicts are there by choice. Getting old can only be avoided by dying early. David Lacey
  • Score: 28

2:20pm Sat 25 Jan 14

maur1 says...

how much does her mother claim in care costs? a lot claim for care but don't want to spend the money on care
how much does her mother claim in care costs? a lot claim for care but don't want to spend the money on care maur1
  • Score: -15

2:36pm Sat 25 Jan 14

QUAKERLADY says...

How can we vote when we dont know the cost involved, how much is it now, how much was it before? How much does the lady get in attendance/care allowance. How many hours does she need help per week. Its half a tale. Some figures needed.
How can we vote when we dont know the cost involved, how much is it now, how much was it before? How much does the lady get in attendance/care allowance. How many hours does she need help per week. Its half a tale. Some figures needed. QUAKERLADY
  • Score: 10

2:55pm Sat 25 Jan 14

maur1 says...

agreed quaker she will be claiming money is she paying out more than she can claim? people are quick to claim benefits then don't want to pay out im an ex careworker ive seen people claiming loads then moan they have to pay for care sooooooooooooo can her daughter say shes out of pocket and why doesn't she help her
agreed quaker she will be claiming money is she paying out more than she can claim? people are quick to claim benefits then don't want to pay out im an ex careworker ive seen people claiming loads then moan they have to pay for care sooooooooooooo can her daughter say shes out of pocket and why doesn't she help her maur1
  • Score: -5

4:01pm Sat 25 Jan 14

maur1 says...

people moan about paying for help but they don't tell you how much they are claiming so does what she is claiming in benefits not cover the costs?
people moan about paying for help but they don't tell you how much they are claiming so does what she is claiming in benefits not cover the costs? maur1
  • Score: 0

4:52pm Sat 25 Jan 14

jandarlo says...

it states in the article that her mother sold her home to pay for care and that she pays fully for her care. no mention of benefits and regardless this lady has already contributed so she should be allowed to get some financial assistance if now needed. as stevegg and davidlacey said if she was a drug addict she would have had ample assistance and in all likelihood have contributed nothing!
it states in the article that her mother sold her home to pay for care and that she pays fully for her care. no mention of benefits and regardless this lady has already contributed so she should be allowed to get some financial assistance if now needed. as stevegg and davidlacey said if she was a drug addict she would have had ample assistance and in all likelihood have contributed nothing! jandarlo
  • Score: 19

5:22pm Sat 25 Jan 14

Copley23 says...

jandarlo wrote:
it states in the article that her mother sold her home to pay for care and that she pays fully for her care. no mention of benefits and regardless this lady has already contributed so she should be allowed to get some financial assistance if now needed. as stevegg and davidlacey said if she was a drug addict she would have had ample assistance and in all likelihood have contributed nothing!
Your comparison is not a fair one although I completely understand the sentiment.

This is only because drug addicts are partially supported by the health services. Elderly however are generally supported by the social services until such time as they need to step in....hence your local council not bearing the full costs of the addicts....

Additionally, I agree entirely with Maur1.

Benefits have (until recently) more or less covered some of the basics that these places offer - - and many elderly folk use the interest of their lump sum to cover the rest. Usually they will only take from their 'nest egg' when they want a new coat etc etc.
The minute the bench mark changes (interest rates - benefit changes) and they have to dip into heir lump sum, the complaints start.

This was always going to happen.
[quote][p][bold]jandarlo[/bold] wrote: it states in the article that her mother sold her home to pay for care and that she pays fully for her care. no mention of benefits and regardless this lady has already contributed so she should be allowed to get some financial assistance if now needed. as stevegg and davidlacey said if she was a drug addict she would have had ample assistance and in all likelihood have contributed nothing![/p][/quote]Your comparison is not a fair one although I completely understand the sentiment. This is only because drug addicts are partially supported by the health services. Elderly however are generally supported by the social services until such time as they need to step in....hence your local council not bearing the full costs of the addicts.... Additionally, I agree entirely with Maur1. Benefits have (until recently) more or less covered some of the basics that these places offer - - and many elderly folk use the interest of their lump sum to cover the rest. Usually they will only take from their 'nest egg' when they want a new coat etc etc. The minute the bench mark changes (interest rates - benefit changes) and they have to dip into heir lump sum, the complaints start. This was always going to happen. Copley23
  • Score: -1

5:32pm Sat 25 Jan 14

grandmab says...

QUAKERLADY wrote:
How can we vote when we dont know the cost involved, how much is it now, how much was it before? How much does the lady get in attendance/care allowance. How many hours does she need help per week. Its half a tale. Some figures needed.
If the lady is self funding through the sale of her flat it is very unlikely she is entitled to any attendance allowance. If like most women of her age she paid half stamp her pension would be less than a man's Now she is dipping into her savings. When they run out there is no guarantee she will be allowed to stay where she is because she cannot pay.
[quote][p][bold]QUAKERLADY[/bold] wrote: How can we vote when we dont know the cost involved, how much is it now, how much was it before? How much does the lady get in attendance/care allowance. How many hours does she need help per week. Its half a tale. Some figures needed.[/p][/quote]If the lady is self funding through the sale of her flat it is very unlikely she is entitled to any attendance allowance. If like most women of her age she paid half stamp her pension would be less than a man's Now she is dipping into her savings. When they run out there is no guarantee she will be allowed to stay where she is because she cannot pay. grandmab
  • Score: 6

5:41pm Sat 25 Jan 14

grandmab says...

When my aunt went into residential care I got to see first hand what the privately run facility provided for the 535 pound per week she and the council paid. 63 pence per day per resident for food. One hour per day of personal care Activities consisted of 1/2 hour morning "exercise" and 1/2 hour afternoon "stimulation". Evenings they were plunked in front of the telly. The staff tried their best but there were 4 carers to look after 28 people. the rest of the staff did other work. I was appalled at the poor value for money she was given. Had she been willing to accept the use of a hoist at home I would gladly have kept her there.
When my aunt went into residential care I got to see first hand what the privately run facility provided for the 535 pound per week she and the council paid. 63 pence per day per resident for food. One hour per day of personal care[ bathing ,dressing, toilet] Activities consisted of 1/2 hour morning "exercise" and 1/2 hour afternoon "stimulation". Evenings they were plunked in front of the telly. The staff tried their best but there were 4 carers to look after 28 people. the rest of the staff did other work. I was appalled at the poor value for money she was given. Had she been willing to accept the use of a hoist at home I would gladly have kept her there. grandmab
  • Score: 9

5:52pm Sat 25 Jan 14

maur1 says...

ive lived all my life never quaulified for , I know a few dole scroungers go to café pronto newton aycliffe a woman is there every day full mealss hes there hours so shows being on benefits pays she has her main meal then a scone and tea greasy haired woman sits in window seems to have a good mobile phone but then don't all dole scroungers
ive lived all my life never quaulified for , I know a few dole scroungers go to café pronto newton aycliffe a woman is there every day full mealss hes there hours so shows being on benefits pays she has her main meal then a scone and tea greasy haired woman sits in window seems to have a good mobile phone but then don't all dole scroungers maur1
  • Score: -2

8:18pm Sat 25 Jan 14

harry2 says...

This lady is 90 years old she deserves to live the rest of her life without worrying about rent.

She isn't a scrounger for goodness sake she can't leave her flat and go out to work,
This lady is 90 years old she deserves to live the rest of her life without worrying about rent. She isn't a scrounger for goodness sake she can't leave her flat and go out to work, harry2
  • Score: 20

11:02pm Sat 25 Jan 14

behonest says...

“We can reassure residents that we will continue to work with families to meet the care needs of people in Darlington."

blah, blah, meaningless spin, blah, blah, Labour council, blah, blah.

Vote UKIP!
“We can reassure residents that we will continue to work with families to meet the care needs of people in Darlington." blah, blah, meaningless spin, blah, blah, Labour council, blah, blah. Vote UKIP! behonest
  • Score: 6

9:35am Sun 26 Jan 14

smokin says...

paying half stamp yes I can agree with that
I was automatically put onto half stamp in my day that was the way it was done we were not asked so my pension is £48'00 per week after working for 45 years
paying half stamp yes I can agree with that I was automatically put onto half stamp in my day that was the way it was done we were not asked so my pension is £48'00 per week after working for 45 years smokin
  • Score: 4

2:46pm Sun 26 Jan 14

loan_star says...

Whats this, a labour council targeting the vulnerable? Whilst the councillors still won't consider cutting their own allowances or the obscene pay of the upper echelons of the council.
Whats this, a labour council targeting the vulnerable? Whilst the councillors still won't consider cutting their own allowances or the obscene pay of the upper echelons of the council. loan_star
  • Score: 8

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