John’s story

My Dad has severe dementia, and becomes very disorientated and agitated when he is not in familiar surroundings. He has lived in the same house in Surrey for the past 56 years and it is one of the very few anchors on reality that he as. It is absolutely essential that we try to keep him in his house for as long as possible. In order to do this, we employ a 24hr carer for him. Initially we used an agency, but the staff kept changing and that really unsettled him. One carer was particularly good and we paid the agency the required £6000 to release him from his contract with them, and we have employed him directly for the past three years.

Brexit is personal, and is going to have a serious negative impact on my Dad’s care. I am sure that it will have a similar effect on many of your readers both now and in the future. The majority of you will need some form of social care and our experience is that all except one of the carers employed by the agency was from Eastern Europe, so even though finding carers may seem like a problem for the agency, it will impact you as the costs will increase as the pool of available workers decreases just as the need for them increases.

My Dad’s carer is fantastic and comes from Hungary. It is an unbelievably stressful job and he needs respite leave. We trust him completely and he has been told to take (paid) leave whenever he needs to. He arranges relief carers and they fly in from Romania and Poland for three weeks or so at a time. Short term agency staff are beyond what we can afford as the care costs are already more than what a doctor who has been qualified for more than five years earns.

Ending Freedom of Movement will mean that we will no longer be able to cover respite care, and my Dad will have to go into a home, causing him serious distress and leading to a statistically earlier death. The consequences of Brexit are personal and too many people have spouted nonsense without thinking of the consequences. If Freedom of Movement is ended, I despair for the future of adult social care in this country. By the time Leavers feel the impact on themselves or on their families, it will be too late. Brexit is inhumane, and my dad, a thorough lifelong europhile who served in the Royal Signals during WWII would have been horrified at the idea of leaving the EU.

John Peek
Banstead, Surrey

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