Ken Lindup, who twice escaped from prisoner of war camps in World War II, was living independently in a small bedsit above Green Hill Way Day Care Centre in Shirley, and would go downstairs six days a week to enjoy a free hot lunch.
But after last year’s council budget cuts, the 92-year-old’s free meals reduced to two with a daily charge of £63.90 levied on lunches on the other four days.
Ken’s son David said previously: “Social Services asked to meet with dad and myself to assess his needs.
“The next day his case worker phoned me to say that because of changes to budget rules made by the Government they have cut his lunches from six days a week to two days.”
A Solihull Council spokesperson said previously that food was not included in an individual’s personal budget as it is ‘a normal living cost.’
With dinners pushed out of his budget, despite an increase in his personal allowance, David had to arrange for private meals to be delivered on the other days.
But he said all the uncertainty had a huge impact on Ken, who is registered blind and also is hard of hearing, and he’d been ‘absolutely devastated’ by the news.
David said: “Dad didn’t fare too well with the removal of his dinners. He went downhill slowly, even after the return of his dinners, and ended up having several falls.
“He ended up in Heartlands Hospital for a little over eight weeks.
“The decision really was made for us by the events. He had to go into full-time care.”
The family searched for a Solihull care home or one near his son’s home in Evesham but David said everything was either too expensive or some were ‘awful.’
Eventually a social worker suggested the Royal Star and Garter home in Solihull, a charity for ex-service personnel, where they considered Ken’s case so pressing he jumped up the waiting list to move in.
David added: “He is doing really well and has improved tremendously since moving in. It is a fantastic place, we couldn’t have found a better home for him.”