Worried by cuts to Safeguard

he Age Concern Exmouth Information Centre staff were somewhat concerned to read the article in the Exmouth Journal, dated August 6, entitled Over-80s scheme will cost .

he Age Concern Exmouth Information Centre staff were somewhat concerned to read the article in the Exmouth Journal, dated August 6, entitled "Over-80s scheme will cost".

This related to the East Devon District Council's decision to charge from September 1, 2009, Home Safeguard customers who are over 80 and in receipt of benefits.

All other customers currently provided with a free Home Safeguard service will be charged from April 1, 2010.

Whilst aware that most people and organisations, in the current climate, have to tighten their belts to help balance their books we agree with the comments made by Cllrs Roger Giles, Ann Liverton and Christine Drew.


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This decision will surely result in individual tragedies, especially in the case of over-80s who might be "too proud" to ask for financial help, and will also lead to additional costs for hospital and health services.

To make matters worse, the article referred to above preceded (coincidently) the most recent reference to Home Safeguard and the importance of using pendants of the lady from Aylesbeare who suffered a burglary.

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We found that slightly contradictory with everyone in that article urging people to wear their pendants, yet it seems the proposal is to make it more difficult in the future for the most vulnerable to do so

This decision comes at a time when we are seeing the removal of on-site wardens at many sheltered housing schemes around the country.

The front page story in the August edition of Mature Times reports that housing providers are replacing on-site wardens with 'floating support' in order to cut their costs - "putting the lives of vulnerable people at risk".

Many of these people, if they do not have the support of a live-in warden, will require additional support from social services, which in themselves are being reduced in their effectiveness.

The result will impact on hard-pressed (financially) charitable services, such as those provided by Age Concern Exmouth.

The Age Concern Exmouth Information Team.

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