Care bill shock for husband

A FORMER teacher who has spent 11 years looking after his wife as she battles advanced dementia has said he will go to prison rather than pay a bill of more than £6,500 for a carer.

A FORMER teacher who has spent 11 years looking after his wife as she battles advanced dementia has said he will go to prison rather than pay a bill of more than £6,500 for a carer.

Philip Stroud, 60, of Lindsey, near Hadleigh, claims that Suffolk County Council demanded £6,667.20, to be paid within seven days - and said it was the first he had heard of it.

Mr Stroud had to give up work to look after his wife Frances, a former medical receptionist, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer's 11 years ago.

He said he provided 144 hours of solitary care for his 61-year-old wife, who is now unable to speak, stand or feed herself, every week.


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But in recent years her condition has prevented her from attending a day centre, and Mr Stroud has received around 23 hours of home care assistance a week from the council.

Mr Stroud said he did not think there was a charge for the service, and when he was asked to fill out a means-tested assessment he refused.

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He said: “I do not understand how I have had care for several years and not had to pay, but for some period last year Suffolk County council decided to charge us - I do not understand that at all.

“I think it is ridiculous they can send me an overdue bill for this amount to pay within seven days. I will go to prison first.

“I have always said to the social person involved if ever any of the care has to be paid for I will withdraw it.”

Mr Stroud said it was a matter of principle, as well as tight finances, which dictated his decision to battle on alone if he was ever told he had to pay for care assistance.

A spokeswoman for the council said: “We apologise for any confusion this letter may have caused.

“It is our policy not to comment in detail on individual cases however, we are aware of Mr Stroud's concerns and have arranged to meet him shortly to discuss the situation and hopefully come to a position of understanding.”

n. Are you struggling to find care for someone with Alzheimer's? Contact The Evening Star on 01473 324788 or email starnews@eveningstar.co.uk

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