Winchburgh’s oldest resident, 101-year-old Louisa Hogton is feeling like a new woman having just had her first bath in seven months.
Louisa, one of 14 children, has outsurvived all her siblings and now lives with her daughter and carer Ruby, at Oakbank Place.
Born in 1914 Louisa has seen her fair share of trials and tribulations over the years, but this recent battle with West Lothian Council has been the worst, according to Ruby, who claimed: “Mum has been waiting for over seven months for the council to sort out some way that would have allowed her to take a bath.
“We have had occupational therapists and social workers out who have all said that mum needed a bath lift, but we have no idea why it’s never been provided. Mum last had a bath in August 2014, as it has simply been too dangerous for her to use a normal bath.”
After seeing an advert, Ruby contacted disability aids company, Ableworld, and director David Gaffney carried out an assessment. The following day he installed a specialised bath lift which allowed Louisa to have her first bath in seven months.
“When we came to pay him, he refused to take anything telling us that he was only too pleased to be able to help out someone like mum who had given so much over the years” said Ruby.
Mr Gaffney, pictured right, said: “When I heard about Mrs Hogton’s plight I was horrified. To have gotten to the wonderful age of 101 only to have been denied the most basic facility of having a bath is tragic and so needless. It seemed only right for us as a responsible, caring and ethical company to put things right.”
However, the council said: “There has not been a seven month delay to fit appropriate bathing aids. In August 2014 a request for a referral to replace the client’s existing bath hoist was made to the council. A referral was created for an occupational therapy assessment but the same month the family cancelled that request and advised that they were moving out of the area.
“A referral was then made to the council at the end of March and our Reablement Team has been in contact with the client regarding her needs. We acknowledge that the occupational therapy assessment has taken longer than it should have to be completed and we will be contacting the client directly to offer her our sincere apologies.”