Fife Council home care support services a ‘shambles’

A PENSIONER said changes to Fife Council home care support services are a “shambles” after she had 55 different carers over the past three years.

Catherine Miller (66), of Balgarvie Crescent, Cupar, contacted The Courier to highlight problems she has experienced following changes to the scheduling of her home carers.

Mrs Miller, who lives alone, said that on some occasions carers were very late or did not turn up.

But while she has experienced a number of problems, she did not blame the home carers themselves as they were clearly “under stress” and trying their best under difficult circumstances.

Mrs Miller, a former Freuchie resident whose 81-year old husband Andrew is currently residing in an Auchtermuchty care home with dementia, said: “My gripe at the moment is Fife Council have changed their system of working.

“Instead of getting the same home carer all of the time – as I had done for 19 months – I now get a different one just about every day, and sometimes don’t see the same person for three weeks. Sometimes I don’t get anybody, which is an utter disgrace.

“I’m not too bad because I’ve got it all ‘upstairs’. I’m not great on my legs and need help showering, but for folk with dementia who can’t cope with change, it must get terribly confusing seeing all these different faces.

“I can see the carers getting stressed about it all. Some of them have to walk from one end of Cupar to the other and don’t have time to physically do it all.”

Last week The Courier reported similar problems being experienced by 84-year-old Len Pearce of Strathmiglo, who received an apology from the council amid claims his concerns had been “ignored.”

Marion Bell, Fife Council social work service manager, said: “Mrs Miller receives home care support and we apologise for any disruption to service she has experienced.

“We are committed to ensuring that the well-being of our service users is maintained at all times and we will be in contact with Mrs Miller to review her service and concerns she has raised.”