Care extended as Frank’s Law is taken forward

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Free personal care for under-65s with degenerative conditions will now be provided

6th September 2017 by Gareth Jones 0 Comments

Free personal care for under-65s with degenerative conditions is set to be provided.

The Scottish Government has pledged to implement Frank’s Law, which will extend care which is already provided to old aged pensioners.

A campaign calling for change was led by Amanda Kopel, wife of former Dundee United footballer Frank Kopel. Frank was diagnosed with vascular dementia and Alzheimer's in 2008, aged 59, and died six years later.

The defender – who also played for Blackburn Rovers and Manchester United – was denied free care because of his age. 

"Somewhere along the line I kept thinking that Frank's Law is a battle that is winnable,” said Amanda.

"Yes there were really rough days – days when I felt like just giving up and thinking I can't go on with this anymore because I kept getting knocked down.

"But so many people have been beside me."

Jim Pearson, director of policy and research from Alzheimer Scotland, said: "We welcome the First Minister’s commitment as part of the programme of government to extend free personal care to those under the age of 65.

“Our warmest congratulations and thanks go to Frank’s wife, Amanda Kopel, who has campaigned tirelessly for justice for younger people with dementia and their families.

“If you have any questions about dementia and of the services available in Scotland call Alzheimer Scotland’s 24 Helpline on 0808 808 3000.”

The change will see free personal care extended to anyone with dementia, motor neurone disease, Parkinson’s or other degenerative brain diseases, regardless of age.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced that the law would be changed to extend care for those under 65 in her programme for government this week.

She said: "The Scottish Government undertook to carry out a study into the feasibility of making this change.

"That study has been published today and I am pleased to announce that we will now begin work to fully implement Frank's Law."

Miles Briggs, the Scottish Conservative MSP, was trying to get the law onto the statue books through a member’s bill, which has been out to consultation.

He said: “This is a huge personal victory for Amanda Kopel whose determined, high profile and consistently dignified campaigning has been outstanding from the very start.”