‘A person can only take so much’
A BLIND and deaf woman says she has been left depressed and isolated after her home visits and assisted shopping were withdrawn.
Julie-Ann Baker, 51, has been struggling without funded social care since September 1 after her needs were reassessed as ‘moderate’.
West Sussex County Council now only funds care for those with ‘substantial’ care needs.
Julie-Ann, of Broadfield, has also been told to pay for backdated care between April and August 2012 at £73 per week, according to a group appealing on her behalf.
She said: “I fought for two years to get this care and then they take it away. Now they expect me to have £73 a week to cover the care costs. That’s barely covered by DLA [disability living allowance].
“I’m just so fed up. All I seem to do is fight, fight, fight. I’ve had these problems since I was born. I just want to put it behind me and enjoy the rest of my life. A person can only take so much.”
Julie-Ann, who also has back problems, has no family nearby and has got by with the support of her boyfriend Paul McCollum, also blind, and friend John Wallsgrove, a road safety campaigner.
She is dependent on assistance for shopping and help around the house.
She said: “If I didn’t have Paul and John I would be gone to pieces. I would hate to think how many other people are suffering. It’s not easy. I’ve got to win this fight for everyone else.
She is appealing against her assessment and the care costs charge, with campaign group Don’t Cut Us Out acting on her behalf.
Margaret Guest, Julie-Ann’s advocate and chair of the group, said the case illistrated how the cuts were impacting people’s well-being and would inevitably cost the council more in the long-term.
A council spokesman said: “West Sussex County does not comment on individual cases but we are confident at the consistency and quality of the whole reassessment process.
“As we have consistently pointed out, we are faced with unprecedented economic and demographic challenges, which have forced us to make a series of tough choices in order to realise savings of £31m in Adults’ Services.”
Of the 3,622 adults reassessed, 14.5 per cent lost funded care but 22 per cent had their care increased, he said.
Reassessments take into account support such as friends, and individuals are expected to use their benefits to pay for care needs where appropriate, the spokesman added.
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Crawley
Friday 24 May 2013
Temperature: 6 C to 11 C
Wind Speed: 18 mph
Wind direction: West
Temperature: 6 C to 16 C
Wind Speed: 14 mph
Wind direction: North