THE isolated and elderly from Hay-On-Wye will be forced to pay double for services starting next month.
Changes in Powys County Council’s adult social care budgets will mean day centre prices, home care and Meals on Wheels will all face hikes if considerations are approved.
They are moves Welsh charity Age Cymru is concerned could leave older people feeling cut off.
Spokesman Iwan Roberts said: “Age Cymru’s main concern at this time is that older people and older people’s services are not disproportionately affected by budget cuts.
“Age friendly communities provide everyone with the opportunities, facilities and services that they need – such as day centres and public toilets, to lead rewarding and fulfilling lives.
“Without facilities such as these, there is a real possibility that older people can feel cut off from society and isolated.”
Leading these price rises will be day and employment centre fees for facilities like Arlais and Arosfa day centres, that help support older and vulnerable people and provide respite for carers.
Attendance fees at those centres will double – from £5 a day to £10 – while other services offered by the centres will also rise in price.
Up to 50 residents can rely on day centres to provide them with their meals, and as of next year, those meals will cost 50 percent more.
Currently both Meals on Wheels – food delivered to someone’s home ¬– and meals served at the centres cost £3; both will rise to £4.50 per meal in 2014/15.
“We believe the proposed increases are proportionate and fair but accept that they will not be popular, said Darren Mayor, Powys’ cabinet member for social care.
“Increasing charges is never an easy decision, but the council has to balance the cost of service provision and availability against the customers’ ability to contribute towards the cost of their own care.”
Some areas will be capped at £55 per week – a figure set by the Welsh Government – but also face significant price rises.
Both home care and learning disability services will, for example, jump from £10.80 per hour to £15.50 per hour, but be subject to that cap.
The changes are being introduced as part of the council’s medium term financial plan designed to reduce council spend.
Mr Roberts added: “We are living in a difficult and challenging economic climate and Age Cymru wants every community across Wales to be an age-friendly community that serve the needs of everyone - from cradle to the grave.”