Care shortage puts woman in nursing home

An elderly woman in need of home help has been forced to live in a nursing home for more than two months - at the cost of £6,000 to the taxpayer.Stroke victim Ruth Craske had recovered well enough to leave hospital and return home, but Norfolk social services was unable to find any care staff to visit her a few times a day at Foulsham, near Dereham.

An elderly woman in need of home help has been forced to live in a nursing home for more than two months - at the cost of £6,000 to the taxpayer.

Stroke victim Ruth Craske had recovered well enough to leave hospital and return home, but Norfolk social services was unable to find any care staff to visit her a few times a day at Foulsham, near Dereham.

Instead, the 73-year-old has had no choice but to live in a £600-a-week home in nearby Swanton Morley, which her daughter, Annette, claims has affected her physical health and brought on “overwhelming depression”.

“This situation is breaking my heart and my mother's spirit; this is the most torturous situation and I am at my wit's end,” said Miss Craske, who struggled to help her mother in her home for a week but cannot lift due to her own osteoarthritis.

“You would not believe she is a woman who had a stroke in December, she is totally compos mentis and can have a normal conversation with you, she just cannot stand on her own, that's all.”

She explained that her mother agreed to go to Lincoln House nursing home for two or three weeks on March 20, until carers were found.

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“She hasn't received any physiotherapy, which she was promised, and has devised exercises herself to get her legs and arms moving, but she spends 16 hours a day sitting in a chair,” she added.

“Her health, both physically and mentally, is suffering. She tries to be strong but overwhelming depression takes over some times and she is losing muscle tone.

“Everyone who sees her - social services, care home staff - agree she is not ill and should be at home.

“To be at home with her dog, surrounded by all her lifetime's bits and pieces and to see her garden is all she has wished for since leaving the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.”

Social services admitted it had problems finding care staff for Mrs Craske, but have assured her daughter that she will be home on June 4 - some 10 weeks after she arrived at Lincoln House.

Karen Wadham, head of service for community care said: “I would like to apologise to Mrs Craske for the time it has taken to get suitable home support in place so that she is able to return to her own home.

“However, this has now been sorted and will start on June 4.

“It is a priority for us to enable people to live independently, with some support, in their own homes.

“Unfortunately there have been some issues with finding home support for Mrs Craske in the evenings and on a weekend.”

A spokesman for County Hall said the length of Mrs Craske's temporary stay was “unusual”.