The price of old age

A 78-YEAR-OLD pensioner who has had three heart attacks has been told by North Somerset Council he has to move into a flat on his own and fend for himself

A 78-YEAR-OLD pensioner who has had three heart attacks has been told by North Somerset Council he has to move into a flat on his own and fend for himself, according to his son.Andrew Coglan says his father Eddie sold his home and all his belongings last year to raise £40,000 for the fees for Summer Lane Nursing Home. But he says now the cash has run out the local authority has asked his dad to move into a second-floor unfurnished property in Preanes Green with not even a bed or a kettle to his name.Andrew, a 42-year-old father-of-three who lives in Spring Hill in Worle, says North Somerset Council social workers have told Eddie they will only pay enough money for him to move into the warden controlled flat and not another nursing or residential home.Andrew says he is at the end of his tether because he is also looking after his wife, 39-year-old Helen, who is suffering from terminal cancer.He said: "My father Eddie and mother Audrey moved into Summer Lane Nursing Home in Weston last April, both being moved there from Weston General Hospital."My father was told by social services he should sell his flat in Lawrence Mews, Worle, to pay the fees."The property was sold in October and a sum of £40,000 was paid to the nursing home. This settled all the fees to date and into January for both of them. My mother died in January."My father was not told until March he had to leave Summer Lane Nursing Home."When it was finally brought to a head he was told he was being offered a flat and he should be grateful."His health is not good enough. He is almost 79-years-old, has had three heart attacks, suffers with angina and walks with a stick."His mental health is not good enough. He is forgetful and leaves the gas on. He is not able to deal with his meals, laundry and bill-paying."He has been looked after by the nursing home since April 2006 and all of a sudden he is expected to deal with all of these things. Well he can't."I have three young children and my wife has cancer of the brain, bones and breast."She does not have long to live and I am struggling to deal with my children and wife, without the additional worry."A North Somerset Council spokesman said: "While we are sympathetic to Mr Coglan's situation, an assessment of his needs shows that he does not meet the council's criteria for residential or nursing home care."Mr Coglan is being supported by the council to find alternative accommodation.


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