Price isn’t right for OAP

A DISABLED pensioner from Heysham got the shock of her life when the cost of her weekly visits to a care centre rose by 600%.

Eveline Malley was devastated when she received a letter saying her Tuesday afternoon trips to Vale View day centre in Lancaster were going up from £5 to over £30.

Mrs Malley, who rarely leaves her home and suffers from angina and diabetes, may now have to stop going to Vale View because she can’t afford the fee.

Now she is clinging to hope that she will be entitled to a discount.

“I’ve really been upset about it because I loved going there,” said Mrs Malley, 72.

“I don’t go out that much, but I’ve made friends there and got to do many different things. And the staff have been lovely.

“It is a lot of money and I don’t have much.

“I ended up in hospital on Saturday with my angina because of the stress.”

Mrs Malley lives alone in sheltered housing, had quadruple heart bypass surgery in 2003 and has been a widow since her husband died five years ago.

Lancashire County Council increased the cost of day care on June 6 - from £5 to £30.75 per day.

Mike Calvert, Lancashire County Council’s cabinet member for adult and community services said: “The proposals were developed following consultation with over 1,000 service users and providers.

“Social care is a lot more expensive than many people realise. For example, one older person’s weekly social care package consisting of 10 hours of home care and two days at a centre can cost almost £10,000 a year. Therefore it is only reasonable to expect a higher contribution from those who can afford to pay.”

But Mr Calvert also said people with less than £23,250 in savings would be entitled to a full financial assessment and should contact the council “as this is likely to mean that they will not have to meet the full cost”.

He also said that “nobody will be asked to pay more than an additional £30 per week in the current year, no matter how much day care they receive”.