'I had to fight for my mother's dementia care', caller tells LBC

21 June 2021, 15:44

By Tim Dodd

This is the moment a caller broke down in tears telling James O'Brien about the "disgusting" way in which her mother with dementia was treated by local authorities.

The conversation comes as Boris Johnson holds talks with the Chancellor and the Health Secretary today to draw up plans to reform social care.

Sophie in Bromley began telling James her mother's story:

"I couldn't get her into a care home locally to her, everywhere was full. We did get her into a home but it was in Croydon. Within a month, they said she needed nursing care. She's had significant learning disabilities all her life and actually, she probably needed help.

"I knew that my mum had £48,000 to her name... I contacted Kent [County Council], I said this is how much money my mum's got, the money's going to run out, tell me what I need to do.

"Right, they said, we've assessed her, and you will need to contact us 12 weeks before her money hits that threshold of £23,250.

"£1100 a week I'm paying for my mum in this care home, I get to June when the money's going to run out, I contact Kent. They say to me 'She's in Croydon now, she's nothing to do with us'."

Sophie continued: "Finally by the end of August, I've got Kent actually assessing her... They got back to me and said she can go into enhanced sheltered accommodation. I said no she can't. They said she's only 74! I said the chances are she's got dementia.

"I managed to get her assessed by the memory clinic - she was diagnosed with dementia on the 16th December 2020."

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In tears, Sophie said: "I have fought, and with the help of Age UK, people must fight for their relatives. If I didn't fight for her they'd have got her out of there and goodness knows what would've happened."

In response to Sophie's story, James said: "You are daughter of the year, don't forget that. I know it's not what you prioritise, but you need to be a bit kinder to yourself and you need to recognise you have gone absolutely above and beyond for your mum."

Sophie said: "This can't be allowed to carry on James. It can't, it's not fair."