Savings gone to pay for care

I am writing to your newspaper to highlight the injustice of my mother’s treatment throughout her illness.

Mum was diagnosed with Dementia in 2001, and she was admitted into a nursing home the same year, as she was a danger to herself and others.

She remained in the nursing home for the next 13 years until she died three months ago. Luckily it was a good nursing home and she was looked after by compassionate staff.

Due to failings by the NHS and the constant changes to the criteria for continuous care funding, my mother was denied full funding until the day she died. She had funded herself to the cost of over £300,000.

My mum and dad worked all their lives and paid into the system. At one point both mum and dad were holding down three jobs each. They made provisions for their old age with private pensions and savings, and were totally independent and responsible for their future old age income.

My mum used all her shares, ISAs, bonds and pensions to fund her care, but with the rising nursing home costs being higher than her income, her savings have been totally depleted.

Even at the end of mum’s life, when she could do nothing at all for herself, she couldn’t speak, walk or feed herself, and was totally dependent on others for everything. Four weeks before she died she was still denied funding from the system she had paid into all her life.

I just want to make your readers aware of the total lack of care and respect our elderly sick generation are receiving. It is hard enough seeing your loved ones deteriorate before your eyes, without having to fight the government for your relative’s rights, as they have got no voice of their own.

We constantly compared the treatment of mother with someone in prison. Prisoners have their human rights taken into consideration and they are fed and cared for at no cost to themselves or their families. I think that the system totally lets our older generation down and that is no justice for people who have lived their lives responsibly.

I think that there has got to be a change in the system and quickly, our old people deserve more respect, help and care in their latter years. These terrible debilitating illnesses like Dementia and Alzheimer’s should be recognised as a medical condition not a symptom of getting old, and the NHS should acknowledge their responsibilities to our elderly generation.

Susan Gilliatt-Kitching Malton Drive, Aston