“It’s Tearing Me Up” – Parkinson’s Disease Said She Has To Leave Home And Dog If She Wants To Be Cared For


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A 64-year-old woman with Parkinson’s was told that her ward council did not have the staff to provide her with the care she needed and told she needed to go to a nursing home.

Lesley Livadas, who lives in Aycliffe Village, County Durham, has successfully taken legal action against Durham County Council through local government and the Social Welfare Ombudsman.

Ms. Livadas said the council had not properly assessed her needs and did not provide enough assistance to meet her needs. She was allocated about half the care hours she received while living in neighboring Northumberland.

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After a heart attack last year, Ms. Livadas said the council once again failed to assess her or properly take into account the effects of her health, which affected her independence and made her feel “like a prisoner”.

The Ombudsman found that, although the Council was not to blame for the assistance it provided, it had not assessed Lesley’s needs. Following the Ombudsman’s decision, the council agreed to apologize and re-evaluate with an OT and someone with knowledge of their health.

However, after the second assessment, Lesley was told that the council did not have the manpower to adequately support her in her home and to allow her to continue to live independently at home. Lesley was told she had to move into a dorm – something she doesn’t want.



Lesley has been told that the council does not have the staff to give her the childcare time she deserves and her only option is to move from her bungalow to a dormitory

Lesley said, “It’s a total insult. I don’t care about anything now. You’ve massively neglected your duty of care. Not only am I not getting more care, it’s being taken away.”

“The only thing they can give me is a home with 24 hour care and putting my dog ​​in the kennels. That’s not an option – it’s not my dog’s fault.

“I feel terrible. People in situations like mine are treated in the worst possible ways.

“I have to raise my voice so people know what’s going on. I don’t trust the social workers. They think one size fits all, but that doesn’t fit. Parkinson’s is very complex.

“They can’t offer 15 hours a week of social care just taking me to the park and helping with my dog. I’m just disgusted with the whole thing.”

Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative disease caused by the loss of nerve cells in the brain that produce the chemical dopamine.

It causes tremors, slow movements, and stiffness in patients, and people with the disease often need a significant amount of support, especially as the disease progresses.

Lesley described what a bad day can be for her.



Lesley says she feels the situation is
Lesley says she feels the situation is “tearing” her apart

She said, “Most of the time I can’t walk. I have to crawl on my hands and knees to move normal person.

“I need everything – I need support in my daily life. That’s why I complained to the Ombudsman – Durham County Council hadn’t taken care of me for the normal functioning of a person everyone should be in this situation.

“It just tears me apart. They do not care. They don’t care that people are ignored and humiliated in society. They just expect your family to take care of you, but my only family around is my mom and she is 85 and she can’t help that.

“I had a heart attack last year and they didn’t take that into account. I’m sure it was all the stress and fear of everything that happened last year.

“I have no help and no support. I don’t know what the future will bring.”

Lesley also said she had trouble contacting her social worker directly and that it could take up to 48 hours to get a response.

In response to Ms. Livadas’ complaints, Lee Alexander, director of adult care for Durham County Council said, “We are committed and legally required to provide the appropriate level of care that meets the needs of each individual.

“We worked hard to support the resident and offer her various treatment options to get the best possible results for her.

“After the ombudsman’s decision, we carried out a new assessment that included input from an occupational therapist and a medical professional who knew about the resident’s state of health.

“The ombudsman was informed of the steps we had taken and then confirmed in writing that the proposed remedial action was complete and satisfactory.”

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