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Widower, 90, banned from weekly day out

PUBLISHED: 17:54 20 August 2008 | UPDATED: 15:12 25 August 2010

DEJECTED: Bill Davies.

DEJECTED: Bill Davies.

AN ISOLATED pensioner was turned away from a day centre he has been attending for more than a year because he was no longer eligible .

AN ISOLATED pensioner was turned away from a day centre he has been attending for more than a year because he was 'no longer eligible'.

Retired printing engineer, Bill Davies, 90, of Crayford Road, Upper Belvedere, was sent back from the Age Concern, Bushey Court Day Centre, 169 Hazel Road, Slade Green.

He was told he didn't fit the new eligibility criteria set out by Bexley council.

The widower, who has lived on his own for more than 30 years, refused home help more than two months ago and now the council has axed his weekly outing.

He said: "I feel very angry and feel as though this council doesn't want anything to do with the old residents, apart from putting them in the rubbish bin.

"They have no conception of what my life is like. They have not been to see me. They simply stopped me going there.

"The twerps that made this decision, don't seem to be able to sum up the situation and think they got it right."

The council told his daughter that they stopped her father going to day care when he refused home help as care services come 'as a package'.

The grandfather said: "I feel isolated and it is easy to get depressed. I love my little home but living on your own is difficult.

"I look forward to going very much as it is a gathering of friends. We can talk about our problems and get good advice. It is really important to me. We should be able to go there.

"I am just stuck here. I look after myself; I wash myself; I wash cook for myself.

"I try to be independent and it feels as though the council are trying to stop us being independent.

"If they are stopping us going there to save money, then they can bring down my council tax.

"The council seems to take a delight in taking away something they started.

"I couldn't believe it or understand it. I could if I was causing a nuisance or complaining but that wasn't the case."

Eddie Falvey, Chief Executive for Age Concern Bexley said: "The local authority has changed its policy for social care and regrettably the knock on effect is that fewer people will be able to use our services for free. We are doing our utmost to accommodate everyone who has been attending our day centre, but we will have no choice but to ask some people to pay.

"The council has moved from providing care for people whose needs are 'moderate' to only those with 'substantial' or 'critical' needs. In practice this means that it is cutting funding for our service, which means it is no longer paying for a good number of people who have been using our services.

"We have given all the people who use our services a letter to send to their local councillor, pointing out the unfairness of the council's decision to withdraw funding for these services. We are also giving them a copy of the council's assessment criteria to help them challenge their needs assessment if needs be."

A spokesperson for Bexley council was unavailable to comment.

marina.soteriou@archant.co.uk

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