It would be hard not to sympathise with Linda Morledge and her mother Mary Turner, as they face the possible closure of Mary’s care home.
Anybody who has lived with the sad fact that a loved relative can no longer look after themselves will understand their fears, following the announcement of Derbyshire County Council’s proposed ‘re-organisation’ of residential provision for elderly people.
‘Re-organisation’ is usually code for financial cuts, but the Derbyshire County Council PR machine has been working overtime!
The Tory Administration presents the changes as progressive.
Modern apartments will replace ageing homes in some areas. In others, homes will be sold off or knocked down and replaced with – what?
New apartments will suit people who are capable of independent living. However, many people in the present homes are unable to live independently because of extreme age; physical ailments or varying degrees of dementia.
They cannot leave the home to visit friends or relatives.
Mary Turner has lived in Kirk Hallam for her entire life and Ladycross House is as her daughter says ‘a home from home’.
Mrs Morledge has no idea what will happen to her mother when Ladycross closes and the stress and uncertainty are a cruel extra burden on top of the existing and continuing worry about the health and welfare of an elderly relative.
Derbyshire County Council has not said what it proposes for people like Mary Turner who are facing turmoil and insecurity at the most vulnerable time of their lives.
As Mrs Morledge says, in cases where apartments are not suitable, why won’t the council commit resources to improving the present facilities?
The unpleasant answer seems to be that this Tory council is implementing the Tory-led Governments cuts agenda – with care for financial cost, and disregard for the human cost to elderly and infirm people.
Mrs Moreledge plans to write to Erewash Tory MP Jessica Lee about the situation. We would all like to know what Ms Lee thinks about this ‘re-organisation.’
But more importantly, what she proposes to do – for Mary Turner and others.
Chair of the Labour Erewash Local Government Committee