Daughters, from Upminster, fight for cash after having to sell home for care

Linzi Coppick and Claire Headley have made a claim to the Department of Health after they had to raise �100,000 for a care home for their Royal Marine father Walter Coppick.

The sisters had to sell their home so that they could afford to pay for care for Mr Coppick who was suffering from Parkinson’s disease and dementia.

In June 2009, Mr Coppick, a former sergeant major in the Marines, died aged 88 after being admitted to the home in January 2007.

“Dad served his country for 22 years and had been promoted to Sergeant Major when he retired in 1960 having completed full service.

“During the war, he took part in the Battle of the River Plate against the German pocket battleship Graf Spee, as well as the Allied invasion of Sicily and jungle operations in Burma.

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“Apart from his pension, he never took a bean from the state. He was a grafter all his life and even set up his own general maintenance business when he retired from the civil service at 65,” said Linzi.

“By the time he went into the care home, Dad’s Parkinson’s had taken a strong hold.

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“He was quickly deteriorating and soon became completely immobile. He couldn’t even open his fingers to hold cutlery or a cup and became reliant on staff to feed him. A hoist had to be used to move him from bed to chair and he was double incontinent. We feel it was very unfair and unjust that our family home had to be sold to pay for his care.”

Linzi added: “If you are caring for someone or visiting them, you want to spend as much time with them as possible because you know they are coming to the end of their life. The last thing on your mind at the time is claiming back money.

“It was only when we’d lost Dad and had time to reflect that we realised we needed to take legal action because everything he’d worked for throughout his life had been taken away.”

Department of Health regulations state that people are eligible for Continuing Health Care funding if care home or nursing home fees are the result of a “primary health need”.

But Lisa Hashmi who is a solicitor in Maxwell Gillott’s dedicated Continuing Care Team says that families need to act fast.

She said: “Individuals who have been paying for their own care from April 2004 could be entitled to a refund if we can show that they would have met the eligibility criteria for full Continuing Healthcare funding,

“As the case of Linzi Coppick and Claire Headley illustrates, this also applies to the families of people who have received care without funding, and who have subsequently died.”

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