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Disabled former nurse ‘abandoned’ in her home by council social services

today9 September 2022 1

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A severely disabled former Derby nurse has spoken of her desperation after being ‘abandoned’ without care at her home. Carolene Benameur, 64, suffers from blood clots in her lungs, an irregular heartbeat, and Polymyalgia rheumatica, a condition that limits the use of her muscles.

Ms Benameur, who was a medical professional for 15 years, says that she eats, sleeps, and goes to the toilet in a bag in a chair in her living room and can only move around the house on her hands and knees.

She claims that she has been in contact with Derby City Council and its St Andrews House mental health centre on a daily basis trying to arrange home visits from social care professionals since March this year. Ms Benameur concedes, however, having had four lots of carers before, that members of her family have previously made it difficult for them to carry out their role.

At present she is having to cope mostly on her own, with a good friend of 30 years, Lynne Riley, 63, who is disabled herself, travelling on two buses from Chaddesden to bring her food. Ms Benameur said: “I can’t walk, I can’t stand, I can’t have a wash. I’ve not had my hair washed. I’m sitting here in nappies day in day out, and I can’t cook anything because I can’t walk with the food in case I slip.

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“I keep phoning them and phoning them, and they just say you’ve got to try harder. I can’t even put my bra on because of my muscles. I’m in a mess and I’ve tried everywhere. I was in a coma last year because of dehydration and malnutrition. I wasn’t eating or remembering to take tablets. I forget things.

“I’m an old lady and they’re just not prepared to help me. I have to do a poo in a plastic bag and tie it up. Every day I’ve been in contact with them. I have no proper care, no shopping and no cooking, no washing of the body. I can’t get in the bath, I can’t get up the stairs. I’m also covered in bruises all over my arms and legs. I feel like I’m just existing here. I’ve got no friends or anywhere to turn.”

Ms Riley, after calming down Ms Benameur’s two excited dogs upon walking through the front door, said: “I have to take two buses from Cheddesden. I dress her and bring her food as often as I can. It’s horrible, heartbreaking to see my friend like this. It’s not nice. When she worked she was never here, she worked hours and hours.”

A spokesperson for Derby City Council told Derbyshire Live that the authority is not able to comment on individual cases, but did clarify: “All requests for adult social care are assessed by a social worker to understand need, eligibility and risk. Due to unprecedented high levels of demand the social care service has to prioritise those people with the most urgent needs and highest level of risk to loss of independence.”

They added: “Where services are provided there is an expectation that providers will provide a high quality service and people in receipt of services will respect care staff and value the service that is provided.”

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