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Elderly woman dies after being left alone

Feb. 6, 2013 at 12:46 AM

LONDON, Feb. 6 (UPI) -- An elderly woman in the London area has died after being left alone for nine days when local officials canceled a contract with a homecare company.

Gloria Foster, 81, was suffering from dehydration and kidney failure and had bedsores when she was found by a district nurse Jan. 24, The Daily Telegraph reported. She died Monday in a hospital.

Foster of Banstead, Surrey, had been getting home visits four times a day from Carefirst24, which had a contract with the Sutton Council. But the council ended the relationship when immigration agents raided Carefirst24 and arrested six people on suspicion of employing illegal immigrants.

A friend, Ann Penstone of Sutton, said Carefirst had been providing good care. She said she was angry Foster was allowed to slip through the cracks.

Foster, before she developed dementia, had been an active woman who loved music and going to the theater, Penstone said.

"She became ill and the quality of her life was not brilliant but she did not deserve to go out like this -- in agony with a total feeling of being lost," Penstone said.

The Surrey Safeguarding Adults Board is investigating the case, local officials said.

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