Donations for at-risk senior ‘Mrs O’ top $23,000 – The Royal Gazette | Bermuda News, Business, Sports, Events, & Community

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Donations for at-risk senior ‘Mrs O’ top $23,000

A total of $23,000 has been raised to pay for care for vulnerable senior Mrs O after her plight was revealed in

The Royal Gazette.

Readers dug deep into their pockets after we reported how the 98-year-old widow, who has dementia and diabetes, was refused financial aid by Government because she has a life interest in her family home.

Social workers determined that Mrs O needed 24-hour care but she had no relatives willing to look after her or savings or assets to pay for caregiving.

The elderly woman was receiving three hours of professional caregiving at home at the time of our first story on December 14, arranged and paid for by her former employer, Ms H.

But that wasn't enough for Mrs O's needs, meaning she slept each night in a hard-backed chair in her kitchen on an incontinence pad, as she was unable to put herself to bed.

She also had to be locked into her home because she was found wandering in her yard in just a diaper and vest.

Ms H, who could no longer afford to pay for care for Mrs O, spoke to this newspaper in the hope Government would reconsider its decision on financial assistance.

Instead, members of the public stepped in and gave generously, meaning there is now enough money in the pot to pay for months of care.

Ms H said she was very grateful for the financial donations, as well as offers of practical help from kind-hearted citizens willing to give up their time to look after Mrs O.

She also thanked the anonymous benefactor who is paying for Meals on Wheels for the senior for the rest of her life.

Ms H said she welcomed a pledge by Families Minister Glenn Blakeney last month to change the law to ensure seniors who have an interest in a property can claim financial assistance.

“I was thrilled to read the front page of Thursday, January 19 and see that there may be changes made to the legislation concerning financial aid for seniors,” she said.

“I would just like to thank [

The Royal Gazette] for all you have done and hope that financial aid is indeed coming for all those in need.”

Reader Liz Stewart got involved in helping to organise care for Mrs O after reading our articles and persuaded many in the international business community to give money.

She said: “I am delighted at the generosity of those who contributed and thank the companies who matched their employee contributions.”

Her belief is that Mrs O should stay in her own home, where she has lived for almost a century, and she has offered to take responsibility for organising care at the property.

Ms Stewart, a senior vice president at Alterra Bermuda, said the amount raised would cover at-home caregiver costs for about seven months. “More will be needed but we will cross that bridge when it comes.”

She added: “The continuing plight of our elderly population is very apparent in Bermuda and I urge the public to please give to those who have contributed so much to our society and who now need our help and compassion.”

The LCCA, which agreed to collect the donations for Mrs O, said yesterday that people could still give until March 15, when the fund will close.

Veronica Harvey, the charity's executive director, said: “Our committee met with Ms H and we believe that the best long-term option for Mrs O is to be placed in a nursing home, where she will be able to receive care and attention around the clock.

“Considering Mrs O's age and medical conditions, she needs to be receiving care 24/7.”

Ms Harvey added: “We have never offered to collect and disburse funds on behalf of a specific individual and it is not the intention of LCCA to continue in this vein.

“As a result, there will be a March 15, 2012 cut-off date for collection of funds on behalf of Mrs O. [Donors should] please ensure that all remaining donations specifically for Mrs O are made prior to March 15, 2012.

“Of course, the public can always donate to the LCCA general fund at any time. These funds are used to assist members of the community who are in need.”

n Donations for Mrs O can be mailed or delivered to the LCCA at LCCA, PO Box HM 64, Hamilton, HM AX or LCCA, 26 Bermudiana Road, International Ctr Suite 211, Hamilton, HM 11.

Donations can also be made to LCCA account #010-287-209-001 at HSBC. Please call the LCCA on 292-1132 to advise the amount deposited and to specify that the funds are for Mrs O.

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Published February 06, 2012 at 8:00 am (Updated February 06, 2012 at 8:56 am)

Donations for at-risk senior ‘Mrs O’ top $23,000

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