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Last Updated: Tuesday, 22 November 2005, 16:08 GMT
Carers criticise council cutbacks
Home-help care could be slashed in Cornwall as a result of a large projected county council overspend.

It is being predicted the expenditure for residential and domiciliary care will be more than 1.75m over budget next year.

Council leaders will seek approval for a raft of cuts this week, blaming "Chronic underfunding".

But carers say they work hard to look after loved ones, and deserve to be treated with respect.

Pick up services

The council's executive member for adult social care, Nigel Walker said: "What we do have is increasing numbers of elderly people, over the age of 85, who require additional care.

"If we were spending the same as the English average, we would be spending another 11m more in Cornwall than we are at the moment."

We do deserve better
Dorothy d'Silva, carer

The chief executive of Cornwall Care, Douglas Webb, says there are things people can do themselves to help the situation.

He said: "Many carers aren't getting the benefits they're entitled to.

"There's a tremendous number of people out there, carers, who are receiving things like attendance allowance on behalf of their elderly parents and putting that in the bank because they don't know they are allowed to use that for services.

"There's a lot of that happening but there are things people can do to pick up services if they can't get them from the local authority."

However Dorothy d'Silva, from Padstow, who cares for her husband Derek, said it was bad news.

She said: "I get attendance allowance. I spend mine and they seem to think we keep it.

"I have a girl who comes in and does the hoovering for two hours a week, and somebody to shower him for two-and-a-half hours twice a week and somebody cleans the windows and it all goes.

"I did feel that was a bit out of order.

"There's a lot of unfairness because we carers do work very hard - we do deserve better."

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