I will no longer be able to have my LifeLine care alarm due to an increase in the weekly cost of the service.
While I have never had to use it I have come close to pressing that little red button many times, and it has given me such peace of mind during my poorliest days to know that pressing a simple button will automatically get a message to Mr Tree Surgeon, my Wonder Mum, or as a last port of call the emergency services.
I have paid 18p per week for what is surely a life saving service for so many people. The cost is increasing to £1.50 per week, which will be £78 per year. Not a massive amount of money but I’ll remind you that I am on disability benefits; benefits that I live in constant fear of having taken away from me. (So worried and conscious of money am I that I no longer take the whole host of supplements that may well help with my health condition because I’m just cannot afford to financially.)
I can raise the issue of affordability with the Council but I would rather any subsidies went to those who need such a service far more than I do.
“despite the unprecedented financial pressure the Council is facing, [the £1.50] continues to be less than the cost of providing the service.”
From my understanding, the council have taken on the majority of the cost of these alarm systems but because of cuts to their own funding, they are no longer able to do so on the same scale. Hence why each service user is being asked to pay what is quite a considerable bit more.
What saddens me most is that there will be people who rely on these LifeLine alarms in a way that I do not have to. It is likely that they too though are unable to afford to keep their alarm systems because of the increase in cost. I am not writing this post as a sob story or for sympathy, but simply to highlight what it happening to some of the most vulnerable people in society. I am incredibly lucky that having my LifeLine machine will not impact too heavily on my ability to call for help. Touch wood. During my bouts of paralysis I am unable to press the emergency button anyway. And I have grown so used to riding out crashes and then texting for help (if I’m suffering more than I can handle alone) when I am able to function enough to do so.
The majority of people in our little country will be oblivious to things like this. Lucky them. Ignorance sure is bliss.