Leeds grandma’s home care chaos EXCLUSIVE

Joyce Cooper.
Joyce Cooper.
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REPEATED failures of home care left this disabled grandmother sobbing after being stuck in bed for more than 13 hours.

Stroke patient Joyce Cooper has been let down countless times by the home carers who are supposed to be her lifeline.

The 77-year-old cannot walk and must be hoisted in and out of bed or onto the toilet by two carers.

But her family have to step in almost every day – often late at night or early in the morning – because only one person has turned up.

Twice she the previously independent pensioner has been left bedbound when no-one has arrived to help her to get up in the morning.

Her daughter Christine Parker said: “It’s absolutely horrendous seeing your mum so upset. She will say things like ‘I wish I was not here’. It’s disgraceful. You cannot treat people like this.”

Until last summer Mrs Cooper, from Armley, Leeds, enjoyed going to the gym and keeping up with her eight grandchildren via Facebook.

But while on holiday in the United States with her son Graham and his family last August, she had a stroke.

Following treatment she was flown by air ambulance to the UK, spending two months in hospitals in Leeds.

On November 2 she was allowed home but the stroke has left her unable to walk.

After initial care from specialist teams, in early January a regular care package set up by Leeds City Council began. Provided by private firm Reed Community Care, with a contribution paid by Mrs Cooper, she is supposed to have two carers come in four times a day. Two people are needed to operate her hoist.

However her family say that at least four times a week, only one arrives. On two occasions, most recently last Saturday, no carers have turned up at all.

“I got a call off my mum after 9am, crying. She was still stuck in bed,” Mrs Parker, 48, said.

Her mum, a retired office and sales worker whose husband Alan died five years ago, added: “They put me to bed at 8’o’clock at night and I have gone all night without going to the toilet.”

A Leeds City Council spokeswoman said: “We are aware of the problems that Mrs Cooper is experiencing with the service she receives from Reed, and apologise to her and her family for the upset that this is causing. We take complaints like this very seriously and are monitoring the company closely, as well as working with them to make sure that they improve as a matter of urgency.

“The service that Mrs Cooper has received is unacceptable and we will continue to closely monitor the care that she and all our other customers receive from Reed, to make sure that it is to the high standard that we expect.”

She said all private sector care providers they used were independently regulated and went through a stringent tendering process.

A Reed Community Care spokeswoman said an investigation had been launched and added: “We are sorry that there have been problems in the provision of care to Mrs Cooper and the impact that this has had on her.”

Joanne Mjadzelics

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