Dementia sufferer left without gas or electricity for two months after social services blunder
A dementia sufferer has been left without gas or electricity for TWO MONTHS after a social services blunder.
Maria Martins, 54, and her brother and full-time carer Carlos, 53, should have been paid a carer’s allowance starting in November.
Two months later no money has been received, and the pair have been left with no money for food, rent or bills over Christmas.
As a result Maria – who has organic dementia – and Carlos, from Tamworth, Staffs, have been living by candlelight and off Foodbank vouchers.
Next door neighbour Christine Chidzomba has even shelled out £965 towards rent and bills to help them survive.
Christine said: “They’re in desperate need.
“This is a breach of human rights and employment law.
“Carlos is employed to work for Maria and she can’t pay him because the money isn’t there.
“Me and my husband have paid £965 towards rent and bills over the last month to help support them, but we can’t afford to pay again.
“Carlos was working for my brother’s company as a care assistant but had to be laid off as he was failing to turn up to work on time to look after Maria.
“As well as her dementia, Maria is incontinent, so needs Carlos’ support 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
“She has fallen down the stairs and, due to her medical condition, she can’t have an operation on her fractured shoulder.
“She’s been sleeping on an iron sofa bed and I’ve been trying to find alternative bedding for her.”
Each day Maria and Carlos arrive at Christine’s house to keep warm, returning home each evening with candles and a flask of hot water.
Carlos, who is originally from Portugal, moved to England three years ago to work.
After the death of his mother 10 months ago, he arranged for Maria to live with him so he could care for her.
Because of the issues caused over the last couple of months, Carlos’ marriage has broken down, resulting in his ex-wife and son moving out.
Carlos said: “This has affected my marriage, my job and my everyday life.
“I feel we’ve been let down by the social services.
“They could have dealt with this in different ways.”
When their money ran out last year, the siblings were forced to live by candlelight as they were unable to top up gas and electricity meters.
Social services have confirmed the family won’t receive any cash until the first week of February.
In response they said: “We apologise for the unfortunate delay in direct payments being processed for Maria Martins and her family, caused by a combination of complexities in their case and technical issues.
“We are working closely with them to ensure she receives the most appropriate care and support as soon as possible.”