Pensioner praises EADT for campaign
A PENSIONER has praised the EADT for backing her 10-month battle to win vital facilities to provide adequate care for her severely disabled daughter.The EADT reported in May the plight of arthritis sufferer Joyce Clifton, 74, who told how she was forced to use a bucket and sponge to wash her 16-stone daughter, 50-year-old Barbara Finbow, as she was no longer able to lift her in and out of the bath.
A PENSIONER has praised the EADT for backing her 10-month battle to win vital facilities to provide adequate care for her severely disabled daughter.
The EADT reported in May the plight of arthritis sufferer Joyce Clifton, 74, who told how she was forced to use a bucket and sponge to wash her 16-stone daughter, 50-year-old Barbara Finbow, as she was no longer able to lift her in and out of the bath.
Both the EADT and South Suffolk MP Tim Yeo took up the pensioner's case after discovering the housing association, which owns Mrs Clifton's bungalow in Crayford Road, Sudbury, had delayed putting in a shower because of financial restrictions.
Although social services officials backed Mrs Clifton's fight for new facilities the Bury St Edmunds based Suffolk Housing Society said it was unable to carry out the work.
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The situation meant that Mrs Clifton had to use a bucket and sponge to wash her daughter, who is deaf, dumb and has severe learning difficulties, because she was no longer able to lift her in and out of the bath.
She said the situation was "unhygienic and undignified". At the time Mr Yeo also described the situation as "rather Victorian and not a proper state of affairs for the 21st Century".
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This week, 10 months after Mrs Clifton began her campaign for more adequate facilities, the housing association has finally installed a new shower at her home and will shortly be providing a specially adapted shower chair.
Mrs Clifton says she is certain that her fight would not have been successful without the help of the EADT and Mr Yeo.
She said: "I am over the moon at getting a new shower, I really don't know how I have coped in recent months.
"In the summer with all the hot weather the situation got really bad because Barbara needed washing more often. This was extremely hard work and very undignified for both of us.
"I am so pleased with the help and support I have had from the EADT and Mr Yeo, it was my last hope and it has made a real difference to both our lives, I am very grateful."
No comment was available from the Suffolk Housing Association yesterday, but Suffolk County Council's social care manager Chris Lane said: "We are of course delighted that Mrs Clifton will now be able to care much more easily for her daughter. Mrs Clifton has been a brilliant mother, and carer, and has overcome real difficulties.
"I can see exactly how it must feel to be caught in the situation where vital improvements take time because of budgets. However, we have to recognise that the association, in good faith, has moved as fast as it could within its own financial resources and priorities."