Closing Newport care home 'could kill its elderly residents'

South Wales Argus: THREATENED: Hillside care home THREATENED: Hillside care home

RELATIVES of residents at a Newport care home fear closing the building and moving patients could kill them, or leave dementia patients unable to cope if they are moved.

Families concerned about the closure of Hillside Resource Centre, Gaer Road, got together on Tuesday night to share their views about the Newport City Council 2013/14 budget proposals.

Gail Brooksbank, whose father receives residential care at Hillside, told the Argus: “My father could move but no other homes have en suite facilities. Some of the changes will kill people.”

Gerard Parselle, whose father Norman, 78, is a resident, said: “There is no way he will be put in Extracare, and how long it would take him to recognise new surroundings, I have no idea, you do not know how he would react to different people.

“Because he is a dementia sufferer the council cannot wash their hands of him.

“The council’s proposals are dangerous and inadequate.”

Jacqui Ford, whose aunt Betty Roberts, 86, is a resident, said she invited three Gaer councillors to the meeting but none were able to attend.

“We went along to visit the Extracare facilities. You get an empty flat and residents have to provide all meals except lunch and do their own shopping,” said Mrs Ford.

She said Extracare is great for those who are able to live independently but is not suitable for everyone.

“Elderly people like familiarity and I am sure some of them who are quite frail might go into decline if they were moved,” added Mrs Ford.

Her husband Tony Ford said there was “no major plan” to care for dementia patients under the council proposals.

“Hillside is exemplary,” he said. “It is ridiculous that when they get to a certain standard it is a warning to others not to get too good or you will close.”

Chris Murray, whose mother Pamela, 71, has lived at Hillside for two years said: “She has been very happy with the service at Hillside and I am afraid that if she has to move, it would be going back to square one in a completely new environment with new people.

Residents and families have until February 13 to make their feelings known before consultation with Newport City Council closes.

On February 18 the council’s scrutiny committee will meet to consider feedback about its 2013/14 budget plans to close the centre.

Plans also include withdrawing funding in other areas, such as Gwent Music Support Service and Underwood Leisure Centre, in a bid to save £8.4 million.

Visit www.newport.gov.uk to take part.

The final budget will be considered by the full council on February 26.

Council could save £853k

HILLSIDE Care Home would not close until 2015/16 at the earliest if proposals for shutting the service are accepted, according to a senior officer at Newport council.

Strategic director of care and customers Stuart Greenwell said the council is negotiating with housing associations on the location of the replacement Extra Care scheme.

“The real difference is that people are tenants. They have got rights as tenants and they have got an apartment, which means they can lead as independent a life as they want to,”

he said.

Mr Greenwell said there would be some residents not suitable for the scheme and there would be some whose relatives would choose for them not to go in.

Hillside accommodates 24 people and the proposal for the draft 2013/14 budget is to replace it with an Extra Care housing scheme, which would be likely to house 40 and 48 people.

The council would save £853,000 but would initially spend £53,000 on the move.

Such centres have 24/7 care with staff based there.

Cabinet member for social care Councillor Paul Cockeram said residents may be offered a another residential home if there is a vacancy.

Those who aren’t suitable would be allocated a social worker to ensure appropriate accommodation is found, Cllr Cockeram said.

The council would redeploy staff whose jobs are at risk.

ARGUS COMMENT: Tough times for councils

THERE has been much written and said in recent days about Newport City Council’s proposed spending cuts.

As we have seen, several of the plans have sent shockwaves through different sections of our community as the full extent of the proposals becomes apparent.

Today we are reporting on the reaction to the proposed closure of the Hillside Care Home as relatives of residents gathered to air their concerns about the plans.

And what they say is entirely understandable.

Their relatives are elderly, some of them are infirm and others are suffering dementia.

Jacqui Ford speaks for many when she says she fears the more frail residents might go into decline if moved.

We realise not every proposed council cut can be halted. Savings have to be made, such are the straitened times for public-sector organisations.

As we are also reporting Monmouthshire council is setting out its proposed budget cuts. And we have no reason to doubt that its proposals, which include raising parking charges and charging for green waste collections, will also be controversial.

Councillors there will face tough questions.

But what is vital is the people directly affected by the cuts do have their views heard. Consultation has to be a two-way flow of information and ideas.

Comments (18)

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9:46am Thu 10 Jan 13

maud123 says...

Why alderly treated like forgotten people who dont matter! These people have contributed to society, paid their dues, alot lived through world war & the depression after that. they should be given everything to make their later life more comfortable! Why doesnt the government help with older people who have paid taxes, NI & not sucked off the state like the majority - not all - of younger people! Makes my blood boil!
Why alderly treated like forgotten people who dont matter! These people have contributed to society, paid their dues, alot lived through world war & the depression after that. they should be given everything to make their later life more comfortable! Why doesnt the government help with older people who have paid taxes, NI & not sucked off the state like the majority - not all - of younger people! Makes my blood boil! maud123

10:49am Thu 10 Jan 13

pinpong says...

Gaer labour councillors made a massive fuss when the torys closed ladyhill. No sign of Whittcutt or Wilcox on this matter. Says it all really.
Gaer labour councillors made a massive fuss when the torys closed ladyhill. No sign of Whittcutt or Wilcox on this matter. Says it all really. pinpong

12:06pm Thu 10 Jan 13

debbiehaile says...

The Council also plan to close Gaer Infants School, moving the children there down to the Juniors.

This is because Ysgol Gyfun Bro Teyrnon will be rehoused at Brynglas school, so the pupils there with ASD need a new location.

The Council are planning residential care on site for the new ASD school. Is it a coincidence that Hillside, right next to Gaer Infants school is also planned for closure???

There is a public meeting tonight at Gaer Infants school to inform the community about the effect these plans for the schools will have on our community.

The Councillors have been invited to this meeting too...let's see if they come.
The Council also plan to close Gaer Infants School, moving the children there down to the Juniors. This is because Ysgol Gyfun Bro Teyrnon will be rehoused at Brynglas school, so the pupils there with ASD need a new location. The Council are planning residential care on site for the new ASD school. Is it a coincidence that Hillside, right next to Gaer Infants school is also planned for closure??? There is a public meeting tonight at Gaer Infants school to inform the community about the effect these plans for the schools will have on our community. The Councillors have been invited to this meeting too...let's see if they come. debbiehaile

2:05pm Thu 10 Jan 13

Independentvoter says...

THE TORIES CLOSED LADYHILL FOR DISABLED PEOPLE IN NEWPORT.

LABOUR TO CLOSE HILLSIDE HOME FOR DISABLED PEOPLE.

The Gaer Labour Candidates LIED on their manifesto leaflets saying they would not cut Care in the Community for Disabled Gaer residents if voted in.

They even had the cheek to ask if your Care was being cut by this Tory -Lib Dem Council.

As they have openly lied to us to gain a vote, surely we can demand a By-Election.

Il have to google the election rules.

So where are the Direct Payments for severely disabled people in the Gaer Labour Councillors ?
THE TORIES CLOSED LADYHILL FOR DISABLED PEOPLE IN NEWPORT. LABOUR TO CLOSE HILLSIDE HOME FOR DISABLED PEOPLE. The Gaer Labour Candidates LIED on their manifesto leaflets saying they would not cut Care in the Community for Disabled Gaer residents if voted in. They even had the cheek to ask if your Care was being cut by this Tory -Lib Dem Council. As they have openly lied to us to gain a vote, surely we can demand a By-Election. Il have to google the election rules. So where are the Direct Payments for severely disabled people in the Gaer Labour Councillors ? Independentvoter

2:08pm Thu 10 Jan 13

Independentvoter says...

If we are 'all in it together' then Newport Councillors won't mind taking a pay cut, will they !
If we are 'all in it together' then Newport Councillors won't mind taking a pay cut, will they ! Independentvoter

4:25pm Thu 10 Jan 13

mr david says...

We have seen it before first downside ,then uskview,ladyhill,hil
lside what next parklands blanypant plus all the learning disbillty homes closed in the last 15years .All councillors get to much money,a few years ago newport gave some of the old councillors a golden hand out and let some new ones in aprox £800.00 per councillor its about time newport had a sort out look at the so called city.
We have seen it before first downside ,then uskview,ladyhill,hil lside what next parklands blanypant plus all the learning disbillty homes closed in the last 15years .All councillors get to much money,a few years ago newport gave some of the old councillors a golden hand out and let some new ones in aprox £800.00 per councillor its about time newport had a sort out look at the so called city. mr david

5:13pm Thu 10 Jan 13

Lastpost says...

First they came for the elderly,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't elderly.

Then they came for the disabled,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't disabled.

Then they came for the weak
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't weak.

Then they came for me,
and there was no one left to speak for me.

Speak up for these Newport residents please.
First they came for the elderly, and I didn't speak out because I wasn't elderly. Then they came for the disabled, and I didn't speak out because I wasn't disabled. Then they came for the weak and I didn't speak out because I wasn't weak. Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak for me. Speak up for these Newport residents please. Lastpost

5:36pm Thu 10 Jan 13

Maria Farrelly says...

Lastpost wrote:
First they came for the elderly,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't elderly.

Then they came for the disabled,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't disabled.

Then they came for the weak
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't weak.

Then they came for me,
and there was no one left to speak for me.

Speak up for these Newport residents please.
I'm shouting as loud as I can!

They are coming for our children too and i'll be damned if i'm going to let them take their school away from them.

There is a public meeting at the Gaer Infant school tonight at 6pm. Come along and show your support, together we CAN have a bigger voice!
[quote][p][bold]Lastpost[/bold] wrote: First they came for the elderly, and I didn't speak out because I wasn't elderly. Then they came for the disabled, and I didn't speak out because I wasn't disabled. Then they came for the weak and I didn't speak out because I wasn't weak. Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak for me. Speak up for these Newport residents please.[/p][/quote]I'm shouting as loud as I can! They are coming for our children too and i'll be damned if i'm going to let them take their school away from them. There is a public meeting at the Gaer Infant school tonight at 6pm. Come along and show your support, together we CAN have a bigger voice! Maria Farrelly

6:53pm Thu 10 Jan 13

larneman says...

Perhaps newport council would prefer to take the elderly for a boat ride up the usk in a leaky boat. Remember them at the next election. Newport stand up for yourselves. Stay together. Protest every day Peacefully of course outside the council offices. engage the press and embarass your councillors.
Perhaps newport council would prefer to take the elderly for a boat ride up the usk in a leaky boat. Remember them at the next election. Newport stand up for yourselves. Stay together. Protest every day Peacefully of course outside the council offices. engage the press and embarass your councillors. larneman

9:27pm Thu 10 Jan 13

Maria Farrelly says...

Well, All 3 local councillors were present at tonights meeting at the Gaer infant school, along with the Argus.

We, as parents made it perfectly clear what our objections are and have urged them to be our bigger voice as our elected representatives.

My concern now, is that if a councillor does not PERSONALLY agree with the community, does their personal opinion carry more weight than their role as our representative?
Well, All 3 local councillors were present at tonights meeting at the Gaer infant school, along with the Argus. We, as parents made it perfectly clear what our objections are and have urged them to be our bigger voice as our elected representatives. My concern now, is that if a councillor does not PERSONALLY agree with the community, does their personal opinion carry more weight than their role as our representative? Maria Farrelly

11:52pm Thu 10 Jan 13

Mwy Eira says...

debbiehaile wrote:
The Council also plan to close Gaer Infants School, moving the children there down to the Juniors.

This is because Ysgol Gyfun Bro Teyrnon will be rehoused at Brynglas school, so the pupils there with ASD need a new location.

The Council are planning residential care on site for the new ASD school. Is it a coincidence that Hillside, right next to Gaer Infants school is also planned for closure???

There is a public meeting tonight at Gaer Infants school to inform the community about the effect these plans for the schools will have on our community.

The Councillors have been invited to this meeting too...let's see if they come.
The ASD isn't not being moved to Gaer Infants to make way for Ysgol Gymraeg Bro Teyrnon at all. There is no reason why the unit can't stay where it is. The powers that be think that the unit needs to be next to an english medium school to help with integration and under some weird illusion that english medium and welsh medium schools cannot possibly be next door to each other (even though Ysgol Ifor Hael in Bettws and Ysgol Bro Teyrnon seem to manage it fine and have an excellent working relationships.) At the moment the children (nursery to Year1) attending Bro Teyrnon are squashed into two classrooms at Maindee Primary and ideally to meet parental need, the new welsh school needs to be in the West of the city. Having the new school at Brynglas is not going to meet that need and as usual the council leaves it to crisis point to do anything about it and according to them the only option is Brynglas. They have had 3 years to sort out a permanent site for Bro Teyrnon and this is the best they can come up with.

I fell sorry for the children of Brynglas as no one seems to have shown any concern for them or the children at Bro Teyrnon who are crammed into two classrooms and will also have to move. The headline in yesterday's Argus was all about Crindau and how they are worried that they will have to change the school name and uniform.Sheeesh.

As for moving these elderly residents, which is what this article is about, I think this is dreadful. Shame on Newport council as I have to agree with the Argus headline on this on that this could indeed kill off these people. As usual the council are not listening to its residents at all.
[quote][p][bold]debbiehaile[/bold] wrote: The Council also plan to close Gaer Infants School, moving the children there down to the Juniors. This is because Ysgol Gyfun Bro Teyrnon will be rehoused at Brynglas school, so the pupils there with ASD need a new location. The Council are planning residential care on site for the new ASD school. Is it a coincidence that Hillside, right next to Gaer Infants school is also planned for closure??? There is a public meeting tonight at Gaer Infants school to inform the community about the effect these plans for the schools will have on our community. The Councillors have been invited to this meeting too...let's see if they come.[/p][/quote]The ASD isn't not being moved to Gaer Infants to make way for Ysgol Gymraeg Bro Teyrnon at all. There is no reason why the unit can't stay where it is. The powers that be think that the unit needs to be next to an english medium school to help with integration and under some weird illusion that english medium and welsh medium schools cannot possibly be next door to each other (even though Ysgol Ifor Hael in Bettws and Ysgol Bro Teyrnon seem to manage it fine and have an excellent working relationships.) At the moment the children (nursery to Year1) attending Bro Teyrnon are squashed into two classrooms at Maindee Primary and ideally to meet parental need, the new welsh school needs to be in the West of the city. Having the new school at Brynglas is not going to meet that need and as usual the council leaves it to crisis point to do anything about it and according to them the only option is Brynglas. They have had 3 years to sort out a permanent site for Bro Teyrnon and this is the best they can come up with. I fell sorry for the children of Brynglas as no one seems to have shown any concern for them or the children at Bro Teyrnon who are crammed into two classrooms and will also have to move. The headline in yesterday's Argus was all about Crindau and how they are worried that they will have to change the school name and uniform.Sheeesh. As for moving these elderly residents, which is what this article is about, I think this is dreadful. Shame on Newport council as I have to agree with the Argus headline on this on that this could indeed kill off these people. As usual the council are not listening to its residents at all. Mwy Eira

12:20pm Fri 11 Jan 13

Independentvoter says...

We have 3 Gaer Councillors who's hands are tied locally. They are told what to say and do by their own parties Chief Whip.

How can they possibly help people locally when they have orders from London HQ.

We need local Independent Councillors who are free to fight local issues who's hands are not shackled at the wrist by a Chief.
We have 3 Gaer Councillors who's hands are tied locally. They are told what to say and do by their own parties Chief Whip. How can they possibly help people locally when they have orders from London HQ. We need local Independent Councillors who are free to fight local issues who's hands are not shackled at the wrist by a Chief. Independentvoter

12:21pm Fri 11 Jan 13

Independentvoter says...

Whip
Whip Independentvoter

12:42pm Fri 11 Jan 13

debbiehaile says...

Mwy Eira wrote:
debbiehaile wrote:
The Council also plan to close Gaer Infants School, moving the children there down to the Juniors.

This is because Ysgol Gyfun Bro Teyrnon will be rehoused at Brynglas school, so the pupils there with ASD need a new location.

The Council are planning residential care on site for the new ASD school. Is it a coincidence that Hillside, right next to Gaer Infants school is also planned for closure???

There is a public meeting tonight at Gaer Infants school to inform the community about the effect these plans for the schools will have on our community.

The Councillors have been invited to this meeting too...let's see if they come.
The ASD isn't not being moved to Gaer Infants to make way for Ysgol Gymraeg Bro Teyrnon at all. There is no reason why the unit can't stay where it is. The powers that be think that the unit needs to be next to an english medium school to help with integration and under some weird illusion that english medium and welsh medium schools cannot possibly be next door to each other (even though Ysgol Ifor Hael in Bettws and Ysgol Bro Teyrnon seem to manage it fine and have an excellent working relationships.) At the moment the children (nursery to Year1) attending Bro Teyrnon are squashed into two classrooms at Maindee Primary and ideally to meet parental need, the new welsh school needs to be in the West of the city. Having the new school at Brynglas is not going to meet that need and as usual the council leaves it to crisis point to do anything about it and according to them the only option is Brynglas. They have had 3 years to sort out a permanent site for Bro Teyrnon and this is the best they can come up with.

I fell sorry for the children of Brynglas as no one seems to have shown any concern for them or the children at Bro Teyrnon who are crammed into two classrooms and will also have to move. The headline in yesterday's Argus was all about Crindau and how they are worried that they will have to change the school name and uniform.Sheeesh.

As for moving these elderly residents, which is what this article is about, I think this is dreadful. Shame on Newport council as I have to agree with the Argus headline on this on that this could indeed kill off these people. As usual the council are not listening to its residents at all.
But the needs of Bro Teyrnon have nothing to do with the Gaer. I know full well the parents, governors and staff wanted to be on the Gaer site and the actual proposal to be sited at Brynglas came as a real surprise to you all.

And yes, the ASD school is being moved here to make way for Bro Teyrnon. If they had not waited, as you say, 3 years to look for a suitable long-term site for Bro Teyrnon, then this wouldn't be happening now.

There are no grounds or justification for closing Gaer Infants school and moving us to the Junior site. Within 5 years we will be at near to full capacity according to their own figures in their proposal. And yet, because the issue of Bro Teyrnon is now so pressing, they are trying to force us out.

Brynglas has had so much money spent on it, I have heard, making the ASD unit there suitable for the pupils. All that investment will be lost to the ASD pupils. It would be far better, in my opinion, to leave the ASD school on Brynglas, use the £3.8m they have for the ASD in making the rest of the building fit-for-purpose and leaving us out of it.

Then they still have to find a West-Newport location for Bro Teyrnon, but that is really not our responsibility. They should have thought about that years ago, before Bro Terynon was started.
[quote][p][bold]Mwy Eira[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]debbiehaile[/bold] wrote: The Council also plan to close Gaer Infants School, moving the children there down to the Juniors. This is because Ysgol Gyfun Bro Teyrnon will be rehoused at Brynglas school, so the pupils there with ASD need a new location. The Council are planning residential care on site for the new ASD school. Is it a coincidence that Hillside, right next to Gaer Infants school is also planned for closure??? There is a public meeting tonight at Gaer Infants school to inform the community about the effect these plans for the schools will have on our community. The Councillors have been invited to this meeting too...let's see if they come.[/p][/quote]The ASD isn't not being moved to Gaer Infants to make way for Ysgol Gymraeg Bro Teyrnon at all. There is no reason why the unit can't stay where it is. The powers that be think that the unit needs to be next to an english medium school to help with integration and under some weird illusion that english medium and welsh medium schools cannot possibly be next door to each other (even though Ysgol Ifor Hael in Bettws and Ysgol Bro Teyrnon seem to manage it fine and have an excellent working relationships.) At the moment the children (nursery to Year1) attending Bro Teyrnon are squashed into two classrooms at Maindee Primary and ideally to meet parental need, the new welsh school needs to be in the West of the city. Having the new school at Brynglas is not going to meet that need and as usual the council leaves it to crisis point to do anything about it and according to them the only option is Brynglas. They have had 3 years to sort out a permanent site for Bro Teyrnon and this is the best they can come up with. I fell sorry for the children of Brynglas as no one seems to have shown any concern for them or the children at Bro Teyrnon who are crammed into two classrooms and will also have to move. The headline in yesterday's Argus was all about Crindau and how they are worried that they will have to change the school name and uniform.Sheeesh. As for moving these elderly residents, which is what this article is about, I think this is dreadful. Shame on Newport council as I have to agree with the Argus headline on this on that this could indeed kill off these people. As usual the council are not listening to its residents at all.[/p][/quote]But the needs of Bro Teyrnon have nothing to do with the Gaer. I know full well the parents, governors and staff wanted to be on the Gaer site and the actual proposal to be sited at Brynglas came as a real surprise to you all. And yes, the ASD school is being moved here to make way for Bro Teyrnon. If they had not waited, as you say, 3 years to look for a suitable long-term site for Bro Teyrnon, then this wouldn't be happening now. There are no grounds or justification for closing Gaer Infants school and moving us to the Junior site. Within 5 years we will be at near to full capacity according to their own figures in their proposal. And yet, because the issue of Bro Teyrnon is now so pressing, they are trying to force us out. Brynglas has had so much money spent on it, I have heard, making the ASD unit there suitable for the pupils. All that investment will be lost to the ASD pupils. It would be far better, in my opinion, to leave the ASD school on Brynglas, use the £3.8m they have for the ASD in making the rest of the building fit-for-purpose and leaving us out of it. Then they still have to find a West-Newport location for Bro Teyrnon, but that is really not our responsibility. They should have thought about that years ago, before Bro Terynon was started. debbiehaile

2:39pm Fri 11 Jan 13

Maria Farrelly says...

Personally, I think if the council left the Gaer infant school alone, they would not be interested in closing Hillside.

I strongly believe there is a link in them wanted to use the facilities of hillside as respite to compliment their plans for the ASD unit at the Gaer site.
Personally, I think if the council left the Gaer infant school alone, they would not be interested in closing Hillside. I strongly believe there is a link in them wanted to use the facilities of hillside as respite to compliment their plans for the ASD unit at the Gaer site. Maria Farrelly

10:38pm Sun 13 Jan 13

Mwy Eira says...

No doubt you are right Maria and I also think they are trying to upset as many of us as possible. Although perhaps you would have some sympathy for the children of Welsh medium schools if your child had a 6 mile (2 hour plus) round trip to school every day just because you child attends a welsh medium school instead of an english medium one. We just want the same - a community based school that doesn't involve hauling our kids out the door before 7.45 in the morning. Just imagine if they decided to close the Gaer and bus your kids to Brynglas every day but it seems that it is perfectly acceptable to do it to children going to Welsh medium schools. Although no one seems to understand this at the council. As long as there are palces they don't care where the school is.
No doubt you are right Maria and I also think they are trying to upset as many of us as possible. Although perhaps you would have some sympathy for the children of Welsh medium schools if your child had a 6 mile (2 hour plus) round trip to school every day just because you child attends a welsh medium school instead of an english medium one. We just want the same - a community based school that doesn't involve hauling our kids out the door before 7.45 in the morning. Just imagine if they decided to close the Gaer and bus your kids to Brynglas every day but it seems that it is perfectly acceptable to do it to children going to Welsh medium schools. Although no one seems to understand this at the council. As long as there are palces they don't care where the school is. Mwy Eira

8:48pm Sun 20 Jan 13

Troubled Carer says...

The feature on 10 January “Closing Newport Care Home could Kill the Elderly Residents” raises extremely serious concerns for Carers of dementia patients. They know that there is a desperate shortage of Care Home places in Newport for advanced dementia sufferers who have already been assessed as needing residential care. If the proposal is that dementia patients relocate to the ExtraCare facility, it will raise serious problems for them in all the ways outlined in The Argus’ report. They will be confused and unable to carry out even basic care for themselves. They will need much more attention than the proposed ExtraCare scheme will provide. Whilst Stuart Greenhall enthusiastically gives the platitude that the residents “.. can lead as independent a life as they want to ...”, independence is not something a dementia sufferer seeks – he or she needs close personal care in all aspects of life 24/7! That help can only be provided by a dedicated trained staff on site.

I wonder if Mr Greenhall has visited Hillside and the excellent Local Authority Homes at Spring Gardens and Blaen y Pant House and seen exactly what goes on all day and all night. If he has I am amazed at his recommendation. If he hasn’t then I have difficulty in understanding how he has been effective as a Strategic Director of Care – good at adding up perhaps, but not good at “care”.
Councillor Cockeram says that those for whom ExtraCare is not suitable “.... would be allocated a social worker to ensure appropriate accommodation is found” – he rather misses the point. My personal experience is that the hard-working social worker will give the family a Directory, some advice and then leave them to find a place. But that is where the problem lies – there are very few places and waiting lists. Currently, I understand from fellow Carers that St Woolos hospital has 12 elderly dementia patients waiting to go into residential or nursing homes but they cannot find places – some have been there for 3 months (3 months!) or more and are “bed-blocking”. Close Hillside, Mr Greenhall, and you will make the basic dementia care situation much worse. Close Hillside and 10 dementia sufferers will have to be re-allocated into specialised residential emi accommodation which will exacerbate the current shortage.

I know it is all a question of money but this is such a desperate situation for helpless people that it needs a thorough examination in our City. Come on Argus – investigate this matter thoroughly because if allowed to run unabated it could create a terrible situation for vulnerable, elderly, helpless people. Demographically the situation will not get better.
The feature on 10 January “Closing Newport Care Home could Kill the Elderly Residents” raises extremely serious concerns for Carers of dementia patients. They know that there is a desperate shortage of Care Home places in Newport for advanced dementia sufferers who have already been assessed as needing residential care. If the proposal is that dementia patients relocate to the ExtraCare facility, it will raise serious problems for them in all the ways outlined in The Argus’ report. They will be confused and unable to carry out even basic care for themselves. They will need much more attention than the proposed ExtraCare scheme will provide. Whilst Stuart Greenhall enthusiastically gives the platitude that the residents “.. can lead as independent a life as they want to ...”, independence is not something a dementia sufferer seeks – he or she needs close personal care in all aspects of life 24/7! That help can only be provided by a dedicated trained staff on site. I wonder if Mr Greenhall has visited Hillside and the excellent Local Authority Homes at Spring Gardens and Blaen y Pant House and seen exactly what goes on all day and all night. If he has I am amazed at his recommendation. If he hasn’t then I have difficulty in understanding how he has been effective as a Strategic Director of Care – good at adding up perhaps, but not good at “care”. Councillor Cockeram says that those for whom ExtraCare is not suitable “.... would be allocated a social worker to ensure appropriate accommodation is found” – he rather misses the point. My personal experience is that the hard-working social worker will give the family a Directory, some advice and then leave them to find a place. But that is where the problem lies – there are very few places and waiting lists. Currently, I understand from fellow Carers that St Woolos hospital has 12 elderly dementia patients waiting to go into residential or nursing homes but they cannot find places – some have been there for 3 months (3 months!) or more and are “bed-blocking”. Close Hillside, Mr Greenhall, and you will make the basic dementia care situation much worse. Close Hillside and 10 dementia sufferers will have to be re-allocated into specialised residential emi accommodation which will exacerbate the current shortage. I know it is all a question of money but this is such a desperate situation for helpless people that it needs a thorough examination in our City. Come on Argus – investigate this matter thoroughly because if allowed to run unabated it could create a terrible situation for vulnerable, elderly, helpless people. Demographically the situation will not get better. Troubled Carer

9:05pm Sun 20 Jan 13

debbiehaile says...

Very very good points, Troubled Carer. I hope wiser heads that mine listen to your concerns and take action.
Very very good points, Troubled Carer. I hope wiser heads that mine listen to your concerns and take action. debbiehaile

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