A PENSIONER is worried about the future care of the elderly who want to live independently in South Tyneside.
John Badger believes “an accident is waiting to happen” because wardens no longer live in the borough’s sheltered accommodations.
The 87-year-old, who lives at Curran House Mews, in Jarrow, says the Government has a crisis on its hands as people live longer and support isn’t as readily available.
Live-in warders were removed in 2009 for a number of reasons including costs and the European Working Time Directive.
Mr Badger, who says he has raised his concerns with local MPs, said: “We have a crisis in sheltered accommodation. Live-in wardens have been axed and, instead, the ones which are left have multiple locations to look after.
“The wardens are overstretched but nobody seems to be bothered about the care of the elderly.”
At the moment Mr Badger says he and his neighbours, receive a call over their intercom system every morning to make sure they have no problems.
Their warden is present between 9am to 4pm during the day, but has to visit other sites at times.
After 4pm there is an emergency button which residents can wear around their neck and press should they need help.
Mr Badger said: “We all have these buttons to wear around our necks, so if someone falls they would still be able to raise an alarm.
“But people don’t always wear them, due to various reasons, and there have been accidents.
“This is a national problem we have here and lives will be lost if something is not done about it.”
Brian Scott, director of finance and support services at South Tyneside Homes, said: “We have previously explained to Mr Badger that we have not provided a 24-hour on site warden service since 2009, when the residential requirement of the post was removed.
“This was due to a European Working Time Directive, employment conditions and cost ramifications.
“We do, however, operate a comprehensive service where Housing Plus officers cover all our schemes from 8am to 4pm.
“If a Housing Plus officer is not on site they can be contacted via the Telecare and Community Alarm Service which operates on a 24/7 basis.
“Mr Badger was fully aware of the warden provision when he accepted his tenancy in 2013.”