Budget cuts get war hero – 93 – home emergency cord bill

A war hero and his wife have been ordered to pay a weekly fee for the emergency cord at their sheltered accommodation because of council budget cuts.

Roger Turner, 93, and Barbara 90, are terrified of what will happen if they fall over and cannot call for help.

But the company which manages the sheltered housing now wants the great-grandparents to pay an extra £2.71 a week..

Emergency CordRAF serviceman Roger, who spent five years in North Africa during the Second World war, said: “If we both took a fall, it could be 24 hours before anyone found us. It’s a matter of life and death.”

“The whole situation is outrageous. To think we have been here all these years and this happens all of a sudden. It’s a case of pay or get out.

“When I fell last month it was 20 minutes before I could even get up to reach the cord.

“If I’d been left lying there without it who know what would have happened?”

Roger is partially sighted and suffers from mobility problems while Barbara has suffered two strokes, walks with a stick, is deaf and has arthritis in her hands.

Both have fallen in their flat in Worcester and have pulled the cord multiple times.

When the alarm is activated a medic is immediately dispatched to check on the residents.

The couple, who have lived in the flat in Worcester for 30 years, will have to scrimp to pay the fee from a combined pension of £192.

Peter Gill, of Fortis Living, said Worcestshire county council previously funded the service. He said: “This situation has occured due to budget cuts.”

“We don’t have to guess why the cuts – what we have to guess is how far they will go”

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