A widow of an RAF war veteran faces being forced out of family home after steep rise in care costs
Ivy Smith and her husband Jack bought a 15th century cottage for £400 in 1946 after both contributing to the war effort and having got married the previous year.
They raised a family and lived together until 1996 when Jack died aged 76.
Now Mrs Smith may have to move out of her home because her local council is planning to raise her weekly care charge from £19 to £98.
Her retired son David promised his father on his deathbed that he would look her and said moving her out would 'kill her'.
But David, 70, admitted the costs of keeping his mother out of a care home were "unmanageable" under council plans to quadruple their fees.
He said: "I do understand that she has to pay something but to put it up that much is appalling.
vy Smith (L) during her time as a land girl during the war
It would kill her to be honest with you
"She is aware that it may be on the cards in the future but I haven't said to her we cannot afford this money and you're going to a care home.
"I've just said we are going to find the money so you don't have to go to one."
Asked how she would feel about moving to a care home, he added: "It would kill her to be honest with you.
Get Quotes on Home Insurance
"She is so vehemently against it, she doesn't like care homes and she thinks they just sit around drugged up and doing nothing.
"At the moment she is happy at home, she does want to stay and I am determined that she will.
"I promised my father on his deathbed that I am going to look after her and that is the long and short of it."
Childhood sweethearts Mrs Smith and her late husband bought their 15th century Grade II listed cottage home for £400 after the end of the war.
Mr Smith was a talented marine engineer who volunteered to join the RAF in 1939.
Mrs Smith waited to marry him and joined the Women's Land Army while he served away from home as a Corporal and mechanic fixing hundreds of Spitfires and Hurricanes.
They married and brought up their two sons at their small three-storey home in Kings Quay, Harwich, Essex.
Ivy and Jack Smith wedding photo
David said: "She loves her house, it is her whole world.
"My father was clever, he did all the alterations himself, he did everything and there are so many memories of what he did, she knows what he did with this house and she just wants to be there and she doesn't want anything changed.
"They were devoted to each other, they really were. They were each other's worlds."
David, a retired local journalist for East Anglia Daily Times newspaper, carried on: "He gave six years of his life to this country.
"He thought his widow would be well looked after and she is not."
The problems began when the council two weeks ago today sent a letter to Mrs Smith stating discounts to her care would be cut due to lack of Government funding, said David.
Explaining that the council's new financial assessment no longer took into account her "essential" outgoings including heating, telephone, medical and energy bills, he said: "They used to take into account lots of expenses.
"She takes tablets, she feels the cold and to be blunt if I turn off the heating she would freeze to death so it's not an option."
He told of how even under the £19 a week care package he had to pay for her rent arrears and for maintenance costs to her historic home from his own pension.
David Smith with mother Ivy Smith, 95, at home in Harwich, Essex
He said: "She is aware [of the hike]. I haven't made her fully aware – why should she sit there and worry where there is nothing she can do.
"People say she is lucky that she has got me to fight for her but a lot of elderly people haven't and they must be worried sick – but I don't want her to worry.
"She loves the carers, they are smashing girls she loves them all and they all love her.
"It's a false economy because if people have to go to care homes it is a lot more expensive for everybody.
"It is supposed to be Government policy to keep elderly and vulnerable people in homes as long as possible and this seems to be flying in the face of that policy.
"She's got a tiny little pension that he left for her and she pays tax on that."
Mrs Smith, who received a £200 weekly pension, and Jack Smith had two sons, three grand-children and four great-grandchildren, aged from two to 23.
David, from Manor Road, Harwich, said the council was due to reassess his mother's case after he appealed their decision.
He added: "I've appealed against this decision and they are going to send an assessor down because if you can prove that some these outgoings are because of a medical condition then they will take them into account.
"I hope they could just reduce it."
Celebrating 80 years since the first Spitfire flight Sat, March 5, 2016
Celebrating 80 years since the first Spitfire flight.
Getty 1 of 31
Celebrating 80 years since the first Spitfire flight in 1936
Dick Madden, councillor responsible for children and adults, said: "Essex County Council continues to face unprecedented financial challenges in social care and so we must act responsibly on behalf of all of our residents.
"We signaled our intention to introduce some additional charges for some people receiving support in December.
"These charges are in line with what many other councils across the country have already introduced."
He added: "For some people already receiving care the contribution they make to their costs will go up.
"We do realise that this will be of concern to some people and so anyone wishing to discuss their situation will be able to ring out special helpline on 08000858176."