What future for South Holland’s elderly?

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South Holland’s elderly residents are facing a mountain of confusion over what care is available to them and at what cost.

Day centres are becoming more of a lifeline for those who can afford them as subsidies are lost in local government spending cuts.

For those lucky enough to be fit and healthy, staying in their own home means keeping independent and having a nest egg to leave to their children.

But there are others for whom staying at home means hours staring out of the window alone waiting for a frozen meal or to be put to bed.

As more care homes close, an army of unpaid carers are looking after partners with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease 24/7 and collapsing under the strain.

There was a time when the elderly in our society were well-respected – when senior citizens were thought of as wise and insightful and to be treasured.

Retirement was an opportunity to enjoy everything they had worked hard for, especially for those who had served their country well during the wars.

And when the time came for them to need special care, there was funding available to provide it in council-run homes.

A Lincolnshire Free Press investigation looks at the plight of the district’s elderly but also focuses on help and support that is available.

Loraine Wigston, manager at Holbeach Hospital care home said: “The Government may think it is doing a fine job keeping the elderly in their own homes trying to promote independence, but they also have a right to have fulfilment and people to chat to at all times and still have their independence.

“Homes are closing as well as day care centres, so what is left for our elderly generation? Certainly not to sit looking at four walls day in day out.”

For the full story, see Tuesday’s Lincolnshire Free Press,