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Case Studies

Deborah’s Story

  • Posted On: 9 May 2016

Deborah is a 70 year old vulnerable widow who lives alone in a rented bungalow in a remote village.  She is severely disabled as a result of a number of serious strokes and can do very little unaided although she has managed to regain her speech through therapy and self-tuition, and can use a computer with two fingers.  She is mobile only in her wheelchair, has a very restricted life, and a typical outing is being accompanied in her wheelchair to the local farm. She has no car. She has two grown-up children but they do not live nearby so can visit only rarely.  Her mental faculties are intact and she keeps alert by reading and listening to classical music.

She needs carers at various regular times during the day and also has one who arrives in the evening and stays the night in the spare bedroom.  Deborah sleeps in a hospital-style bed and needs help to access it, to be moved within it and to get up.

One day she receives a phone call saying that she is going to be visited for a review of her care funding which has been stable for some years. Not long afterwards two officials arrive and do an assessment.  They reach a decision on the spot that, under new criteria, her funding is to be cut by over 90 %. This means the potential loss of most of her day care and the whole of her night care.  She never receives a formal letter confirming this outcome.

As result of the recently implemented Care Act, Deborah is referred for advocacy.  She also enlists the help of a social worker. Deborah is in a state of acute anxiety about her predicament since what is proposed would make her life untenable.  The advocate holds a series of meetings with her and having gathered all the background information, challenges and engages the authorities by email and telephone while keeping the client informed at all stages.

Eventually, after several weeks of pressure, it emerges that Deborah’s case will be put to a special panel which concludes that the original decision should be rescinded and that virtually the whole of her funding should be continued.  Although she does not receive a complete written confirmation of this, her funding does carry on, her support remains in place and her peace of mind is restored.  She is, however, very shaken by the whole experience but knows that she can receive advocacy support in the future whenever she needs it.

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