by davidmay on 12 March, 2017
This is what I said
I am appalled that this motion is needed on Franks Law and dementia, as this should have been passed by the Scottish Government many years ago, as passing Franks Law is clearly an issue of fairness and an end to the ludicrous discrimination of people under 65, and without question we need to know more about the connection of football and dementia.
Frank Kopel, was a Dundee United football legend and I first came across him when, as an Aberdeen supporter I watched him and his team win the league cup against my team many years ago.
I read about Frank, and the fact that he was ‘ like many other footballers we now hear about was diagnosed with vascular dementia. This happened to Frank when he was 59, and I was astonished to find out that there was not free personal care for him as he was too young.
I made a point of following this not only in the Dundee Courier, who should be applauded for highlighting this, but also read more about this in social media.
I invited Franks wife, Amanda, to be our guest speaker at our Angus Lib Dems AGM, and we heard from her in a very personal and emotional talk about early onset dementia, and the lack of support for her and Frank and what she and Frank had to face.
Think about it conference, Frank lost his job, his income, his eyesight, his bodily functions, his mobility and then his life to this disease.
Amanda told us that they had to give up their jobs and that she only received £3.81 a day in carer’s allowance and had to pay around £300- £350 a month for esssentail council services. If he had been over 65 this would all be free and she needed help with him in ever day tasks. So due to his age Frank and Amanda got no real help.
Hearing all this, led me to propose a motion at Angus Council backing the need to introduce Franks Law and calling on the First Minister to support one of our residents Amanda Kopel in her fight to extend free personal care to dementia sufferers who are under 65. This was not only passed unanimously but it clearly showed that this is not a party political issue, but one of fairness.
Following my motion on Franks Law being passed I contacted several councillors in other councils and I was delighted to get their agreement to introduce a motion by them in their council. Following Angus it was Dundee next and then Fife was the third council to introduce a motion of Franks Law and I am aware that many other councils have followed.
Amanda’s fantastic campaign for Franks Law which started in June 2013 is getting huge support but we as a party and through our councillors need to keep the pressure on the First minister to get Franks Law on the statute books by asking questions in Holyrood and for our councillors to propose motions in thei council.
It is clearly too late to help Amanda when she needed help but she rightly wishes to ensure that no family has to put up with the lack of support she faced and we need as a party to back her and the superb work she has done.
I read correspondence received by Amanda from the health minister, that “clear guidance” is in place to ensure no one in the last six months of a terminal illness should be charged for the care they receive at home. This is not only insensitive but how can anyone predict when someone is going to die, as even medical experts cannot know this. As Amanda has said to me “Myself and my family certainly did not know in November 2013 that Frankie would lose his six-year battle with dementia in April 2014.
“No doctor or consultant or any dementia expert could tell us that on Frankie’s birthday, March 28, that Frankie would lose his battle 19 days later.
“It came as a shock to us all.”
I hope you will support this motion on the need to end the discrimination and pass Franks Law now. Furthermore,we need to develop the research into the link between brain injuries, dementia and football and to respond quickly to the research to avoid others being faced with Hppended to Frank and Amanda.
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