Pensioners protest at care cuts

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Pensioners in Arbroath’s sheltered housing are continuing to campaign against changes to their care being instituted by the Scottish Government.

Last Wednesday a meeting was convened in the community lounge of Andy Stewart Court sheltered housing to discuss the introduction of Self Directed Support (SDS), which will see sheltered housing units converted into amenity housing and the withdrawal of warden services.

A spokesperson told the Herald: “A meeting on Wednesday afternoon was attended by four councillors and Derek Wann.

‘‘The main points that were apparent from this meeting were that the residents who attended the council’s consultation meeting, which occurred two weeks earlier, had received a handout on Self-directed Support and only three had received the leaflet to express their views on the value of Sheltered Housing.

‘‘Hopefully, the other 37 residents will now receive their leaflet to let their views be known.

“The SDS information document left quite a few of the residents confused and they did not understand what it meant for their future.

“The residents present at the meeting told stories of why they had been placed in sheltered housing and their fears for what would happen if their wardens were taken away and the complex became amenity housing.

“A petition has been produced and it is hoped the community will add their voices to help these vulnerable people.”

According to Angus Council’s website, the idea of Self-directed support is that individuals arrange some or all of their (or their child’s) support, instead of receiving services arranged by social work or housing services.

The aim is to allow people who would like more flexibility, choice and control over their care to live at home more independently.

Those who choose to organise their own support package will get a sum of money to spend on the support they need, instead of receiving council services.

It is also possible to choose to organise some individual support and also receive some council services.

Things for which an individual might need support include personal things like having a bath to help with managing money, cooking or cleaning.

To find out more visit www.selfdirectedsupportscotland.org.uk/