AS the county council looks at closing all of its care homes, the daughter of an 85-year-old resident with severe health problems has told the Advertiser she fears for her mother’s future.
When lifelong Kirk Hallam resident Mary Turner moved in to Ladycross House Care Home in October last year, the last thing Linda Morledge thought was that her mother would be moving out in a matter of months.
But a planned £200m investment by Derbyshire County Council – the biggest it will have ever made into adult care – could see the closure of all 27 of its homes and their replacement with a network of state-of-the-art apartments and ‘super care complexes’.
Ladycross House in Sandiacre, along with Beechcroft in West Hallam and Hazlewood in Cotmanhay, are among the first nine homes to be looked at closing.
The consultation, rubber-stamped by councillors last week, has left Linda and husband Glyn worrying.
“Since we found out that she might be moved it’s just been horrendous,” she said.
“We want to know, where is she going to go, and will she get the same care that she gets now?
“My mum’s been quite upset about it.”
Mary had treatment for bowel cancer three years ago and suffered a stroke last year, leaving her unable to look after herself and requiring 24/7 care.
After seven weeks at Ilkeston Community Hospital, Mary told family she wanted to move into a care home.
Linda, a retired home care worker, said she knew Mary would be in good hands in a care home run by the county council – her employer for many years.
She visited a number of homes in the area, before settling on Ladycross where Mary, who had lived in Kirk Hallam her whole life, quickly felt at home.
“It’s been such a stressful year,” said Linda, 60.
“And now we’re faced with having to move her again.
“She can’t believe how well she’s settled in. The girls there are wonderful and look after her so well.
“It’s a home from home for her.”
She added: “It’s a big thing for someone of my mum’s age to give her home up.
“That was the family home so it’s been traumatic for us all.”
Depending on the result of the consultation, The Travers Road care home – like Hazlewood and Beechcroft – could be demolished and replaced with one or two-bedroom apartments.
These are planned to be within five miles of every home in Derbyshire.
A super care complex is planned to replace Florence Shipley care home in Heanor where there will be specialist dementia care available.
The future of Hillcrest in Kirk Hallam and Southlands in Long Eaton will be considered at a later stage but the plan for them is to sell them off.
However, Cllr Charles Jones, cabinet member for adult care, assured residents no decisions will be made until after a full consultation has been carried out with everyone affected.
He said: “Our plan is ambitious, imaginative and innovative but we believe it will future-proof care and benefit older people in Derbyshire for many years to come.
“We realise there will be disruption for people and we will do everything we can to minimise this and support people through any changes.”
But Linda suggested the council should use the £200m to improve the existing care homes and now plans to write to Erewash MP Jessica Lee.
“I know it’s an old building but it’s my mum’s home and she’s happy there.”