Dementia sufferer left lying on the floor for more than three hours for ambulance to arrive after fall (From Bournemouth Echo)
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Dementia sufferer left lying on the floor for more than three hours for ambulance to arrive after fall
AN ELDERLY man who suffers with dementia was left lying on the floor of his home for more than three hours waiting for help.
Roy Harvell, 80, fell just after 7pm on January 21 – but was left waiting until around 10.30pm.
Wife Cynthia, who cares for her husband single-handedly, called the NHS 111 number as she cannot lift Mr Harvell alone, and was told that a South Western Ambulance Service vehicle was on its way.
The 82-year-old said: “My husband isn’t able to control his bladder, and so he wet himself on the floor.
“We have been having some problems with the boiler, and it was very cold for him to be lying there for three hours.
“All I could do for him was cover him with blankets and put a cushion underneath his elbow, which is where he fell. I put a hot water bottle next to him too, but it was awful not to be able to help him.”
Mr and Mrs Harvell, who have been married for more than 20 years, live in Branksome.
“The ambulance that arrived to help came from Swanage,” said Mrs Harvell.
“I just couldn’t understand why it took so long to get here. A nice lady helped Roy to get up again, and because he is very strong, he didn’t need to go into the hospital. But if he had been frail, it could have been different.”
Mr Harvell was diagnosed with Parkinson’s and dementia seven years ago, and often falls over.
He is currently waiting to be allocated with sheltered accommodation by the Borough of Poole.
His wife said: “I feel shocked, disgusting and extremely upset about the way in which we were treated.”
Her daughter Elaine Ingram, who lives nearby, said: “My mother and stepfather worked all of their lives and paid their taxes.
“Now, when they need help most, they have been abandoned. It is very distressing. Everything has become a fight for them.”
No one was available for comment from South West Ambulance.
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