For the last few years, she has counted on the health service to afford her dignity and security in her old age.This doesn't even make sense. It's not like she couldn't fake it if she wanted to, is it?
But now a blind 77-year-old widow has been left feeling dehumanised and humiliated by those who were supposed to be looking after her.
Edith Braddow, who was prescribed incontinence pads by a local clinic after being referred by her GP, says she was told to bring in three soiled pads if she wanted to continue to receive them.
And just what do they think she's doing with them if she doesn't need them? Is there a black market in incontinence pads?
Even worse is the fact that she and her son meekly complied with this request:
'I was incensed, but we put three pads in a carrier bag.And believe it or not, the health authority actually defended this:
When we got there the nurses actually weighed each pad in front of us and referred to some kind of scale...'.
A spokesman for Nottinghamshire Community Health insisted that testing incontinence pads for absorbency was standard practice.I don't know which I'd prefer to believe - that they are so dehumanised themselves that they believe that this is acceptable behaviour, or that they are just secret perverts who are turned on by soiled underwear.
‘A review of the continence service took place during 2010 and changes have been made to ensure patients receive optimum care,’ she said. ‘The aim of the service is always to return patients to continence wherever possible. Pads are only prescribed for those patients with moderate to severe incontinence.
‘All patients are offered a comprehensive clinical assessment, which includes reviewing existing pads to ensure adequate absorbency and comfort to the patient, as defined by National Good Practice, followed by a clear treatment plan.’
If the latter, I suggest they go to Japan, where such tastes are catered for with vending machines...