Elderly couple's distress after waiting over a year for social services to find their disabled son a permanent home

An elderly couple in Filey say they are ‘at the end of our tether’ after waiting for over a year for their disabled son to be found a permanent place to live.

By Corinne Macdonald
Monday, 13th May 2019, 5:55 pm
From left to right: Brian, June and Neil Woods.
From left to right: Brian, June and Neil Woods.

Brian and June Woods, both 82, of Whiston Drive, have become increasingly distressed and frustrated since their son Neil, 51, had to move out of his previous address in September 2017.

Neil has suffered from epilepsy for most of his life which mean he specific needs.

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He had been living in a flat in Scarborough managed by the Wilf Ward Family Trust for 15 years before having to move out when the owner put the property up for sale.

The couple explained that social services initially told Neil he would be found somewhere new within two months but 18 months later he is still waiting in temporary accommodation.

Mr Woods said: “There’s been meetings and meetings and nothing has happened.”

Neil’s property is being stored partly at his parent’s house and partly in storage, the cost of which totals over £3,000 so far.

“We told social services how much it was costing him,” said Mr Woods, “And they just told us to sell everything.

“When we asked what he would do when he gets a new place they said “He’ll just have to buy some more.”

“He’s been fobbed off, passed from pillar to post.”

Neil’s specialist care has been a defining part of Mr and Mrs Woods’ lives.

When he was a child Neil was partially paralysed and had to spend three days in an oxygen tent to treat whooping cough.

The couple had to give him physiotherapy at home to help him regain mobility.

Mr Woods’ had to sacrifice earnings when Neil was young as every time he had a fit Mr Woods would rush home to help his wife care for him.

When Neil lived in his previous flat, the couple felt he was happy and they could relax.

But the wait for a new home for him has negatively impacted on the whole family.

Mrs Woods said: “We’re both over 80 now and we’re too old for the stress of this.

“I just want someone to help him.

“We’re at the end of our tether.”

Mr Woods added: “Until this is sorted he’s in limbo.

“He wants to go on a holiday but can’t get anyone to go with him.

“With Wilf Ward he would go to Great Yarmouth but where he is now they don’t provide staff for things like that.”

Neil explained one of the hardest things about not having a permanent address was being separated from his hobbies.

He likes to listen to records and has a large model railway collection but currently has no space for either of them.

“I feel trapped in that room, I can’t do anything.”

Rachel Bowes, North Yorkshire County Council’s assistant director for care and support said: “Good quality support for people with care needs is one of our top priorities.

“We cannot discuss the detail of individual cases, but our assessors do everything possible to find suitable homes when required for people with support needs.

“This includes working with our housing partners.

“Our staff will also guide people to take action which will enable a suitable home to be found for them more easily.”