The Scottish Conservative candidate for Angus South has called for greater urgency from the Scottish Government to introduce ‘Frank’s Law’ to provide a fairer charging system for social care.
Kirstene Hair has given her full backing to Amanda Kopel’s campaign to close the loophole that means under-65s are not afforded free care at home.
Amanda’s late husband, Frank, had to pay for personal care from when he was diagnosed with dementia at the age of 59.
Since then Amanda, from Kirriemuir, has campaigned tirelessly to enshrine protection in law for those who do not at present qualify for free care.
She said: “Frankie worked all his life and paid into his pension, yet would never live to see any return. All we were asking was for the government to take this into account and cover his personal care ensuring he did not go to his grave paying for his own care – just because of the young age which he was unfortunate enough to contract the disease.”
Ms Hair praised Mrs Kopel’s “selfless campaign” which she said is an inspiration to all.
She continued: “She is a dedicated and determined woman and just listening to her harrowing story underlined why it’s essential we ensure people under the threshold age of 65, suffering dementia, are afforded exactly the same treatment as those over that age.
“The lack of action from the SNP on this issue has been a source of tremendous frustration and disappointment for Amanda. The Scottish Conservatives fully support the introduction of Frank’s Law with an extra £800million coming to our NHS thanks to Barnett consequentials, it would be a good area to invest some of that money.”
Figures released last year revealed that record numbers of people below retirement age are being treated for dementia in Scotland - 777 patients in 2014/15. That represents an increase of almost 25 per cent in six years. There has also been a rise in dementia cases more generally, by 265 per cent over the past decade.
Kirstene Hair (left) is pictured with Amanda Kopel.