Fears of care threat

I am chairman of the Boston Carers Group, (Learning Disabilities), and it is my privilege to meet regularly with fellow parents and carers from the Boston Area, who make up the 50 or so members of the group.

I consider that these good people are the kindest, gentlest, most honest people one could ever wish to meet.

Their lives are devoted to providing the very best they can for those for whom they love and care.

Many of them elderly themselves with elderly relatives have had a caring role for more than 50 years; others with younger children and siblings have to look ahead to a life of caring.

In a modern civilized society, who would deny these folk the best possible assistance to ease their burden as they strive to give those with learning disabilities the best quality of life that is possible?

I have just attended the latest of the carers group meetings and could not fail to be moved by the feelings of fear and foreboding expressed by all present.

The cruel cuts being implemented by Government and county council to adult social care are now beginning to be felt by all the members.

Our group’s aim is to share news and information and personal experiences, and to bring support to one another.

It is fair to say that no one could bring any positive news to lighten up the meeting.

They fear that they and people like them are facing situations that will overwhelm them.

Does anyone out there care? It seems so grossly unjust that unfortunate people with lifetime disabilities face the threat of having taken away the little that they have, while the richest people in this nation are still increasing their own wealth.

The lack of understanding that is being shown to people with disabilities is bound to be worsened by the careless rhetoric of senior politicians on the subject of benefit fraud, which official figures show to be a minuscule percentage amount and could be stamped out by proper policing under the present system.

Surely, there can be no justification for draconian measures that punish the large innocent majority along with the very small guilty minority?

Contrary to the promise from our council leaders, frontline services are being affected, drastically, and in many cases being withdrawn completely.

Some folk are experiencing a 50 per cent cut on what they have been receiving, so vastly reducing their ability to have choice at all.

Some of the younger people coming to the end of special needs education are finding it impossible to even obtain assessments by social services to plan for their futures.

Also, there is a great amount of concern for those caring for relatives at home around how they are physically going to cope with the extra time that will have to be spent at home when day centre places are not obtainable.

Truly, the whole situation at the moment is bleak, and worse will follow if the policy makers do not have a change of heart.

It is cold comfort for us citizens of Lincolnshire that throughout the whole nation, disabled people are faring no better than we in our county. The matter is critical, lack of care to provide the assessed needs of disabled folk will lead to dangerous situations in many lives.

Surely now is the time for the authorities to face reality and truth and to fulfil their duty of care for all in the communities which they are elected to serve, in a fair, respectful, responsible and humane manner?

A.K. Atkinson

Chairman, Boston Carers Group Learning Disabilities