‘YOU can’t put a price on your health’ says a Cubbington grandmother signed up to Warwick District Council’s Lifeline service.
Margaret Hine had help at the push of a button when she became short of breath last year.
Realising she was in difficulty, the 86-year-old pressed the Lifeline buzzer – which provides 24 hour emergency help – around her neck and within minutes paramedics were there. Five weeks later, and following major heart operation, she was back home.
And she says the health scare proves the £2 she spends each week on Lifeline is ‘worth every penny’.
She told the Observer: “Having Lifeline is like having my daughter with me all of the time. If I need someone urgently then I just press the buzzer and they’ll come. I have only had to press it once but it makes me feel safe.
“A lot of my friends encouraged me to get one – and it’s a good job I did.”
The Lifeline service could be hit by the withdrawal of a £500,000 grant by Warwickshire County Council (WCC) to the district council, which could impact on the 1,200 council tenants who use the service.
But WCC’s decision will not impact on the council’s 3,000 private customers – who pay around £100 annually – for the service, and who will continue to receive it as normal.
Council chiefs say no decision has yet been made on the way forward and plan a series of public meetings to give people who may be affected the chance to have their say.
But Margaret,who is also president of the Leamington Flower Club, is encouraging the elderly and vulnerable to sign up to the potentialy life-saving service.
She said: “I have a friend whose husband fell in the garden. He was out there for two hours in the rain because no one realised. If he had the buzzer then situations like that wouldn’t happen.
“Lifeline only costs a couple of pounds a week and I am worth that – my life is worth that.”
Along with backing Lifeline, Margaret also supports the British Heart Foundation after her life-saving operation. She makes shopping bags which are on sale for £1 at the charity shop on Regent Street.
To find out more about Lifeline email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01926 435012.