D-Day veteran claims he is being "treated like muck" after council declines to offer funding for care home
PUBLISHED: 13:20 24 January 2019 | UPDATED: 08:09 25 January 2019
ARCHANT EASTERN DAILY PRESS (01603) 772434
A 94-year-old Normandy veteran claims he is being "treated like muck" after being refused funding by the council to partially pay for care home fees.
Len Mann lives on his own in Parana Close in Sprowston, but wishes to spend the end of his life at Halsey House care home in Cromer.
It is one of The Royal British Legion’s care homes exclusively for ex-servicemen and women and their dependants, and has offered Mr Mann a room.
Mr Mann said he has been unable to look after himself and is left in pain from osteoarthritis and falls at home.
He is visited by a carer twice a day but has sought help from Norfolk County Council to be able to move into the care home.
But the war veteran is only able to pay for half the fees - around £700 - required for the room and has asked the council’s adult social services to subsidise the remaining amount.
The council has said it is keen to explore all options with Mr Mann and his family.
“Halsey House is for the forces, they got a bed for me there,” he said. “I should be paying half that but I need [the council] to fund the other bit.”
In order to be eligible for help, Mr Mann had to show he is unable to do simple tasks - such as being able to wash and dress, prepare a meal and go to the shops - and that a physical and mental impairment was having an adverse affect on his health and wellbeing.
Mr Mann said he was visited by social services on Wednesday and was told he would not be offered funding as he did not have dementia and was not severely ill.
“That’s ridiculous,” he said. “I can’t walk without any assistance, I have fallen over for the 10th time.
“I was born in England and I was in Normandy fighting for this country but I have been treated like muck.
“If you go to Holland they think the world of their veterans.”
He was 19 years old when he fought on the beaches on D-Day June 6, 1944. In 2016, he was awarded France’s highest honour - the Légion d’honneur.
“The lady from Halsey House said ‘you’re not fit to be on your own’ and the council said I’m not bad enough to go there,” he said.
Mr Mann said he will fight the council’s decision as he feels he has not been assessed properly.
His daughter, Beryl Hall, 75, who also lives in Sprowston, said she will be making an appeal to Norfolk County Council.
“He can’t look after himself, he can’t lift his arms,” she said. “He’s got this problem where he continually falls.”
She said her father had fallen to the floor on Wednesday and after pushing an alarm button he had to wait an hour for a response team to get to him.
“He’s not got that long left in him,” she added. “He needs 24 hours care.”
A spokesman from Age UK Norwich said the charity does not provide funding for care home fees but would welcome a chat with Mr Mann to check he is receiving all of the benefits he is entitled to.
A county council spokesman said: “We have been working with Mr Mann and his family to provide appropriate support to enable him to live independently in his own home, for as long as possible.
“We appreciate his desire to move to Halsey House, especially in light of our responsibilities, under the Armed Force Covenant, towards former service personnel. We will work with Mr Mann and his family to fully explore his options, including further support from charities.”