The widow of Dundee United legend Frank Kopel has called on Scottish local authorities to follow Angus Council’s lead in backing Frank’s Law.
Amanda Kopel, a Kirriemuir resident, has spoken of her delight after Angus councillors unanimously backed her campaign for free personal care to dementia suffers aged under 65.
She has continued to fight for the Scottish Government to close the loophole since the death of her husband last April. The campaign has also been backed by The Courier.
Addressing the full meeting of Angus Council, she spoke of the difficulties she faced in the final six years of Frank’s life after he was diagnosed with vascular dementia when he was 59.
She said: “I saw Frankie taken away bit by bit by the disease. It was heart-breaking and soul-destroying. He battled dementia with great strength, courage and dignity.
“I was also in a battle to get the proper care for him and all of the time Frankie was deteriorating.”
She said they both had to give up their jobs and were left relying on Amanda’s small pension and a daily £3.81 carer’s allowance while paying hundreds of pounds a month for services which were free to over 65s.
A motion, led by Montrose councillor David May, will see the council’s chief executive Richard Stiff write to the First Minister calling for the introduction of Frank’s Law.
Arbroath member Ewan Smith said it was important the council give “encouragement and support” to Mrs Kopel’s campaign.
He added: “I think your late husband would be proud that you are strong enough to keep fighting for this change in the law.”
Monifieth councillor Craig Fotheringham said he saw Mr Kopel most days in Kirriemuir and saw him deteriorate.
He said: “At first I didn’t notice but over time I saw a fit man wasting away before my eyes. It was very upsetting to see someone in this state and I am happy to support the motion.”
After the meeting Mrs Kopel told The Courier: “It goes without saying that I am absolutely delighted that Angus Council has backed Frank’s Law because it adds to the army who is already behind me.
“I am pleased not just for the memory of Frankie but for all the other people with dementia who are aged under 65.
“I am very grateful to Councillor David May for setting the wheels in motion. I hope that other councils will now follow Angus Council’s lead.”