House-bound couple write to PM in anger of social means testing

House-bound couple write to PM in anger of social means testing

Lucy Golding

House-bound couple write to PM in anger of social means testing

An elderly couple from Maidenhead facing financial crisis for the cost of in-home help are campaigning to put an end to social means-testing by lobbying the Prime Minister.

Chris and Eileen McCarthy face a financial crisis over the cost of in-home help

Chris McCarthy, who is 87 and lives in Grenfell Road, is on call 24-hours a day to care for his house-bound wife Eileen who has suffered from severe arthritis for 15 years.

Mrs McCarthy, 85, is unable to walk and requires assistance to get in and out of bed and use the toilet.

Since July his wife has required visits from two carers four times a day, costing approximately £3,000 every eight weeks.

In England, everyone with more than £23,250 has to pay for social care.

Those with savings and capital of between £14,250 and £23,250 are more likely to receive financial help.

The couple, who celebrated their 65 wedding anniversary yesterday, will eventually be unable to afford their outgoings and are billed for the care because they have savings.

"They take our money just because we have got it," said Mr McCarthy who has spinal scoliosis and takes on all the household chores.

Desperate for the system to change, Mr McCarthy wrote directly to David Cameron in July and his letter was diverted to the Department for Work and Pensions.

They responded by sending them a carer for a one-off visit who was unable to help.

The Royal Borough, which provide care for the McCarthys, said it unable to comment on individual cases.

Mr McCarthy has since hand-written a second letter which he intends to post to David Cameron in the next few days.

His heartfelt letter lays out his wife's 'helpless' condition and his own health complications, his extensive employment history including 14 years service for British Rail and a urgent plea to have the system changed.

In his letter he wrote: "I am sure that if it was widely known what is being done to the senior people of this nation, it would be considered a scandal."

Failing a response from Mr Cameron, Mr McCarthy said he would consider taking the case to the European Court of Human Rights.

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