LETTERS: Dial-a-bus service is lifeline for elderly people

posting many letters to red british postbox on street
posting many letters to red british postbox on street

The loss of the Dial-a-Bus service for some people would be disastrous. My mother in law is an 87-year-old disabled pensioner. Together with her friend, who is 72 years old and who has dementia, they use the service every Monday to go shopping at Morrisons in Chesterield. This service is their lifeline and enables them to get out, go shopping with their friends, and allows them to have a period of freedom from being tied to their homes.

Were this service to be axed my mother in law would be reliant on using a mobility scooter to get her shopping from the Co-operative store in North Wingfield, which, although not too far away, is still a daunting trek for someone of her age and health. If the weather is bad then she would not use the scooter and therefore would not be able to shop thereby being reliant on family members to do the shopping for her when they can.

Being independent is vital to her and if she cannot get out she only asks people to get for her such essential items such as milk and bread - she likes to be able to decide what meals/foods to buy for herself at the supermarket when she sees what is on the shelves.

Her friend, who has dementia, cannot use the normal bus system - she does not know how!

She could not use a taxi on her own, again because she does not know how and also she gets very frightened when in the company of someone who she does not know.

She does know that every Monday morning she will go round to my mother in law’s flat so that she can get the bus to Morrisons supermarket, this is marked on her calendar which she looks at every day.

A daily routine is an absolute necessity for her and any disruption to her weekly routine causes untold damage to her mental condition. If she is uncertain of what day it is or has a problem she either rings my mother in law or us to answer her problem.

For both of these ladies their independence is absolutely vital to them and any disruption to their weekly routine would be a disaster.

Sent in by Geoff McNeice.

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