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‘My husband John needed to be in a care home but all I got was demands for money and aggressive verbal attacks’

From 1992 for about twenty years, I had to fight for my husband’s continuing care

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I predict that a new phrase will be added to our everyday language: ‘It’s the Post Office again’. A number of other government organizations are behaving in a similar manner to those who caused the recent Post Office scandal when numerous innocent citizens were wrongfully jailed. 

So many other government bodies contain too many over-paid, self-aggrandising, disinterested and self-seeking ‘managers’ who do nothing – make no effort to look into complaints and take the easy way out: blaming the complainants for their own faults.

One glaringly obvious organization is the care system which is rife with this attitude and these managers.

From 1992 for about twenty years, I had to fight for my husband’s continuing care. Early on, a consultant had said that my husband was a complex case and would warrant continuing care. I naively believed him.

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From the moment of my husband needing care in a care home, there was a continuous battle. I even had to have a lawyer on board.

I cannot remember anyone in the system giving me moral, emotional, or informative support – all I remember is demands for money and aggressive verbal attacks.

In 2014, Rosemary gave a talk to the Rotary Club of March. Dr Westwell talked about her husband John (pictured with her above) who suffered from dementia for 22 years. She described how it had affected her and her family and how it had prompted her to write a book John, Dementia and Me

In 2014, Rosemary gave a talk to the Rotary Club of March. Dr Westwell talked about her husband John who suffered from dementia for 22 years. She described how it had affected her and her family and how it had prompted her to write a book John, Dementia and Me

May I suggest that this is no way to treat a stressed-out wife, who had to continue to survive on her own, maintaining a full-time job and caring for two teenage children?

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I opened a separate account for my husband and put any money he got into there. I only used it for his benefit and checked with the lawyer about any large expenses.

Rosemary Westwell speaking at The Alzheimer’s Show

When I got breast cancer, I realized that if I died and our house remained in joint names it would be very difficult for the children to deal with, so I put the house in my name.  (I had been the main breadwinner paying the mortgage after all.) I, of course, checked with the lawyers before doing so.

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In 2014, Rosemary gave a talk to the Rotary Club of March. Dr Westwell talked about her husband John (pictured with her above) who suffered from dementia for 22 years. She described how it had affected her and her family and how it had prompted her to write a book John, Dementia and Me

In 2014, Rosemary gave a talk to the Rotary Club of March. Dr Westwell talked about her husband John who suffered from dementia for 22 years. She described how it had affected her and her family and how it had prompted her to write a book John, Dementia and Me

However, this was completely ignored by these ‘care managers’. The fight culminated in a meeting which was described by the person attending on my behalf as a ‘lynching’.

Phrases that the managers used in the ‘final’ meeting included.: She is using money she is not entitled to. She was given the wrong information by the consultant. 

The consultant didn’t have the power to make this point. No-one will sanction that the NHS will have to pay – no way will he be funded. 

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She was ill advised. What has she done with Mr W’s money?  The house is mortgaged up to the hilt. (My comment: NOT TRUE).

We will invite the police to investigate. We will be requesting to see receipts for the money Mrs W has spent which she is not entitled to.  We will be inviting the police liaison person, to the next meeting. 

 We will arrange to stop the IB and PC payments to Mr W’s bank account (WHICH THEY DID FOR A SHORT WHILE) as the money was not being used appropriately. (NOT TRUE) 

They will make sure Mr W gets his sundries allowance (I DID THIS BY ASKINGTHE HOME FOR THE BANK ACCOUNT DETAILS TO PAY INTO – no one had offered the bank details before..

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When I kept asking, how much and to whom I should pay to help with my husband’s case I received only vague replies. They did not seem to know.)   

During these long anxious days while fighting his case, I learnt not to make a single verbal statement so it could not be twisted and used against me.

In 2014, Rosemary gave a talk to the Rotary Club of March. Dr Westwell talked about her husband John (pictured with her above) who suffered from dementia for 22 years. She described how it had affected her and her family and how it had prompted her to write a book John, Dementia and Me

In 2014, Rosemary gave a talk to the Rotary Club of March. Dr Westwell talked about her husband John who suffered from dementia for 22 years. She described how it had affected her and her family and how it had prompted her to write a book John, Dementia and Me

I learned to insist on everything in writing (which the authorities interpreted as me trying to be difficult, not seeking clarity as I had been) and I learned not to attend meetings, because my words would be wrongly interpreted, and my husband’s and my wishes ignored.

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Is this any way for a care system to function? My husband had worked every day he could. He had paid his National Insurance. It’s not his fault if the government have diverted these funds elsewhere.

Needless to say, we appealed and won the appeal. My husband was given continuing care with them having to pay costs of £13,000.

https://www.carehome.co.uk/news/article.cfm/id/1596487/Shocked-wife-learns

If they had assumed innocence to start with and communicated in a more humane and understanding way, it would have saved a lot of time, anxiety, effort, and money.

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Rosemary Westwell (author of “John, Dementia and Me”) 

 

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