‘Upset’ 95-year-old felt ‘bullied’ after care review

Under her old package she received four visits per day but now carers only visit three times a week to help her with showering.

‘Upset’ 95-year-old felt ‘bullied’ after East Renfrewshire care review STV News

A 95-year-old woman has been told to make her own meals and take out her bins after care visits were cut to save money.

Her son said his mum had been left “quite upset and confused” as she was “basically bullied” into carrying out tasks which had previously been done by her carers.

He is worried about the impact on her health due to “increased time on her feet”. The woman, who lives in Clarkston, has complained of more hip pain.

Under her old package from East Renfrewshire Council’s care at home service, she received four visits per day but now carers only visit three times a week to help her with showering.

Changes were made following a review of her care, as East Renfrewshire’s health and social care partnership (HSCP) faced a budget gap of almost £10m.

To help cover that shortfall, the area’s Integration Joint Board — a partnership between the council and NHS which directs health and social care services — agreed to continue work to prioritise social care support to those in “substantial or critical” need only.

A ‘supporting people framework’ is used for all social care assessments. Those deemed to be at “low or moderate” need are directed to community and third-sector support.

The woman’s son said: “East Renfrewshire Council can’t afford to provide the care it used to. I think everyone knows the council is strapped for money but I don’t think the public is aware of the implications.”

A spokesperson for the HSCP said senior staff will review his mum’s care package. They said residents are seeing changes to services due to the funding gap.

The son said his mum first had a care package set up in August 2022 and was put on a new package in January 2023 after she was discharged from hospital following a hip replacement operation. 

However, he said she underwent a review in November last year, where a reviewer asked his mum to carry out tasks usually completed by the carers.

“Mum phoned to say her package had been stopped and that’s the first I was aware of it,” the son said, adding he feels the reviewer “basically bullied my mother into doing things”.

He has been told his mum now only needs help with showering. Previously she had help to prepare meals, wash up and take out rubbish, he said. “They are now saying that’s no longer the carers’ duty. I would say that’s what she needs help with,” he added.

Two complaints have been made about her treatment. The son added his mum’s GP has sent a referral to the council but no change has been made to her care. 

He said his mum was “making her own meals at times” but that was “just putting something in the microwave”. Carers were making most of her meals, he added.

The spokesperson for East Renfrewshire’s HSCP said: “Regrettably we need to make savings due to a £9.8m funding gap, and residents are now seeing changes to services because of this.

“Our new eligibility framework aims to provide clarity and equity of care to all our residents. Senior staff have been asked to review this care package, and if any changes are needed to the level of formal care we provide, we will of course make sure this happens.

“We understand how upsetting changes to formal care packages can be for residents, and we are working with the people we support, their families and community partners to mitigate these changes as far as possible.

“This will allow the HSCP to continue to provide care and support to those with greatest needs, and help us to achieve the best possible outcomes for residents, while closing our significant funding gap.”

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