Interactive: Patchy care for old people needs urgent attention

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Evening News, 108 Holyrood Road, Edinburgh, EH8 8AS

AS MY partner and I read Helen Martin's article "I'm glad mum's free of care in community" (News, 26 April), we found ourselves nodding vigorously in agreement with every sentence and every word. It rang so true with our experience.

We looked after my partner's 96-year-old father in his home until just before Christmas. Fortunately, we were just as happy as he was to care for him in his own home until he became too poorly, befuddled, turning night into day, and too physically disabled for us to cope.

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We realised we had reached this point last summer. Dad wanted to stay at home; but the practicalities, for himself and us became harder and harder. He too, like Helen's mum, had "an uncanny knack of being able to sound convincingly capable", when required for doctors, nurses and other professionals.

We developed an enormous respect for the carers. The majority of these carers worked cheerfully and effectively despite inadequate conditions – tiny bathrooms and heavy patients. Worst of all these carers have no parking passes. They have to pay for their own parking and provide their own vehicles.

Many people scared us in the final run up to dad going into a care home, warning us that he would not survive beyond three months away from his own home. The reality has turned out to be rather different. He is physically better cared for although very bored. The home is pleasant enough but the standard of care is patchy. Old folk need consistent care and routine.

It is obvious that care for the elderly, both within their own home and in nursing homes, is a subject badly in need of real discussion and consideration.

Mairi Bagnall, Edinburgh

Hospitality is not just for a crisis

IN RESPONSE to the letter of Mr Dewar (Interactive, 26 April) it is a commendable thing that Edinburgh can still rally round when times are difficult, but why on earth must it take a crisis before hospitality and assistance is offered from Edinburgh's business community?

The Scots do, after all, have a bit of reputation for their hospitality and geniality, so why not extend this hand of friendship throughout the whole year and who knows it may actually result in a rise in tourism which would perhaps benefit everyone.

It is also a good thing that air travel is getting back to normal, but perhaps now would also be an appropriate time in which to take stock of the number of flights that are now being made on a daily basis.

Air travel has grown considerably but are we now getting to a stage where the volume of air traffic is getting to dangerous levels. Should restrictions now be put in place before safety is compromised?

Angus McGregor, Albion Road, Edinburgh

Green ideas can benefit economy

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BECAUSE I have not exactly been knocked over by candidates seeking my vote, I went out to find my candidates instead.

Luckily for me, I found them all being put under the spotlight on issues to do with climate change, transport and overseas development in a church hall in the centre of the city. These are all vital issues for politicians, which seem to have passed the big TV leaders debate by. Of course, the economy is important. But what is good for the planet can also be good for the economy too.

Gordon Wilson, Waverley Park, Edinburgh

Reports keeping eateries on toes

WELL done the Evening News for exposing these restaurants (News, 26 April) it will only make things better.

If you own a restaurant you won't want to get on the dirty list now that it's in the paper. Run an article every so often, keeps them on their toes.

Victor Brierley, Ashley Gardens, Edinburgh

Time to open up this stretch of road

WHY is the West End of Princes Street still blocked off to traffic? There is no rhyme or reason for this, this section of road was completed six months ago.

James E Fraser, Cockburn Street, Edinburgh