105-year-old Emmy denied wheelchair

Redcote Care Home resident Emmy Wharton, 105, is upset that she is being refused a wheelchair by the company that supplies the home, who say the residents must share.  Emmy is pictured with care home manager Jane Green reading the letter from the wheelchair company (G120608-1a)
Redcote Care Home resident Emmy Wharton, 105, is upset that she is being refused a wheelchair by the company that supplies the home, who say the residents must share. Emmy is pictured with care home manager Jane Green reading the letter from the wheelchair company (G120608-1a)
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HEALTH authorities have put the brakes on giving a wheelchair to a 105-year-old Lea resident.

Spirited Emmy Wharton, of Redcote Residential Home, said having her own wheelchair would give her a new lease of life and greater independence.

But Millbrook Healthcare refused Redcote’s application for four wheelchairs, meaning its 27 residents have to share the seven the home currently have in stock.

Emmy said it was a ‘terrible shame’ elderly residents were being denied a vital lifeline.

“Having a wheelchair is very handy because it means you can get out and about, and not bother other people,” she said.

“I am rarely ill and don’t ask for much. There’s not many people who get to my age and you think they would’ve been more understanding.”

Although Emmy remains fiercely independent her limited mobility mean she needs a wheelchair to get around the home and on trips out.

She joined a group of residents on a recent visit to Gainsborough’s Heritage Centre but had to borrow a wheelchair from the home.

“It means a lot to get out for the day. I feel really left out without a wheelchair - it’s the little things that matter to us at our age,” she said.

Redcote care home manager Jane Green urged Millbrook Healthcare to re-think its decision.

“I just think it’s a great shame when you get to 105 that you are denied the freedom to do what you want to do,” she said.

“She’s so independent and doesn’t want anything - it’s the fact she needs one.”

She added: ““We only have a limited number of chairs in the home which means we have to plan who we can take out.”

“Everyone is different too - some people need smaller chairs. Millbrook have told us we can have wheelchairs if the person can push themselves but how can that apply to elderly residents?”

Millbrook Healthcare failed to provide an official response in time for the Standard’s deadline.

But in a letter addressed to Redcote’s manager Jane Green, Wheelchair service manager Margaret Swaby said that under NHS guidelines, chairs required for transit around the care home or for occasional outside use would not be provided.

“We also do not provide for people where the wheelchair is to be used as an alternative to comfortable seating,” she wrote.

“Where homes already have a supply of standard wheelchairs, these have to be shared among clients.”

“If, however, the provision of a wheelchair would lead to independent mobility then that would be issued.”