Elderly don skeleton outfits in protest as social care budget ‘is cut to bare bones’

The Islington Pensioners Forum is protesting against cuts to adult social care as part of National D

The Islington Pensioners Forum is protesting against cuts to adult social care as part of National Dignity Action Day - Credit: Archant

A trio of pensioners donned skeleton costumes and parked themselves outside Islington town hall as part of a grim protest against swingeing cuts to the council’s care budget.

Islington Pensioners’ Forum was taking a stand against the fact Islington Council’s budget has been cut in half since 2010, a fact they claim is harming care workers in the borough.

Dot Gibson, 81, of Highbury Terrace, is the group’s secretary.

She told the Gazette: “Carers currently operate in 15-minute slots. They have to get people out of bed and into the shower, dress them and get breakfast. It’s impossible.

“I live in sheltered housing and I see a woman carer rushing between two people.

“But the big thing is that people are lonely. Most just want someone to talk to. People don’t get the care they need.

“The family home often has to be sold to pay for care. It’s a huge issue.”

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But she added the protest wasn’t targeted at Islington Council itself.

“Care is embedded into this borough’s psyche,” she said.

“Nevertheless, we wanted to draw attention to the cuts, and thought the skeleton costumes would work well.”

Cllr Richard Watts, leader of the authority, said: “I think they are absolutely right to campaign against the appalling cuts this government has introduced.

“What we do as a council in social care is very different from the national picture. We are the only authority to pay the living wage to carers and one of a handful to cater for people with moderate needs.”

The protest came as part of National Dignity Action Day.

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