A disabled man claims he is facing homelessness when funding for his care home ends next month. Andrew Tribe – who is currently living in a care home in Bristol – says he has been told Devon Council will stop paying for his care home on November 4 as he was found not to need full-time care following an assessment.
However, the 63-year-old said his condition has deteriorated since the assessment was done and that he needs care. Devon County Council said it is working with Mr Tribe and local authority partners to resolve the issue.
Mr Tribe said he has been suffering with chronic back pain since 2007 after a fall during an epileptic fit. He said these days he has mobility problems and needs a four-wheel walking frame to get around.
He has been diagnosed with ataxia, a disorder that affects co-ordination, balance and speech according to the NHS. As a result of this, Mr Tribe said he has eyesight problems including double vision, and struggles with co-ordination.
Mr Tribe said that in the care home, he is in his room all day, having meals brought to him. He needs help washing and with his medication, among other things.
“I need help with my medication to make sure I am taking it properly,” he said. “I can not stand for long so cooking or cleaning wouldn’t be possible for me. I can not get up and down stairs and I have not been out of here since the beginning of the year.”
The former estate agent and company director said that he was moved to the care home in Bristol in November last year, first moving to a care home in 2020 and being in privately-rented accommodation before that. He asked to be moved to Bristol to be closer to his family, he continued, as his mother and sister live in Yeovil, Somerset, while his brother lives in Bath.
Mr Tribe said that the funding for the care home is being paid by Devon Council, where he lived for 12 years before briefly living in Somerset and then Bristol, but that he has now been told this will stop on November 4. He claims an assessment was done over a year ago and it was found that he didn’t need full-time care.
“But things have got worse since then,” he added. “I used to be able to walk around with a stick while I can’t anymore and now I need the frame. My eyesight has also got worse and I am waiting for a new pair of glasses. As I have not lived in Devon for at least three years, they no longer have a housing duty and they have not offered me anywhere to go.”
He continued: “I think the local authorities have taken their eyes off the ball and I should not be cast out on to the streets because of bureaucracy – someone needs to take responsibility. I know they do not have endless reserves of money, but I have to have care right now. I would be dead within six months otherwise. I will fight for my own future for as long as I can.”
Mr Tribe said he was made aware at the end of September that the funding would be cut, adding Bristol City Council was notified at the same time. The disabled man claimed that Bristol City Council have told him it will not pay for the care home as he has not lived in the area for two years.
He claims he has been told to bid on properties through the council’s website, but that nothing suitable is available.
“I will be made homeless,” he continued. “This is a private care home and, if someone does not pay the bills, I will be out on the streets.
“The two local authorities are washing their hands off and I feel like a ping pong ball caught between the red tape of two local authorities. I don’t have any money and no one in my family has the money to be paying for this home. I’m worried that homelessness may be a real possibility for me and I am in a very bad place. My mental health is terrible and I am feeling both anxious and sad. My welfare is feeling threatened and I could not sleep last night worrying about. I am terrified about what is going to happen to me.”
Mr Tribe said he doesn’t want to move and described the care home he is in at the moment as brilliant, saying the staff are superb and the management are wonderful. If he was to be moved to sheltered housing, he continued, he would need carers to come in twice a day.
A Devon County Council spokesperson said: “We are working with Mr Tribe and our local authority partners to resolve this issue.”
Bristol City Council was contacted for comment.