Home closure spells misery for mum, 88

PUBLISHED: 08:38 10 February 2015 | UPDATED: 08:39 10 February 2015

A family fun day will be held at Moreton residential home to celebrate its 65th aniversary. Photo by Simon Horn. Ref exf 8982-23-13SH To order your copy of this photograph go to www.exmouthjournal.co.uk and click on MyPhotos24.

A family fun day will be held at Moreton residential home to celebrate its 65th aniversary. Photo by Simon Horn. Ref exf 8982-23-13SH To order your copy of this photograph go to www.exmouthjournal.co.uk and click on MyPhotos24.

Archant

The misery inflicted on some of our most vulnerable residents was put into sharp focus this week when it was revealed that an 88-year-old dementia sufferer had been shunted around three care homes in just two years.

Trisha Smethurst this week blasted the way her mother had to leave the county-council run Davey Court, which is facing closure under budget cuts, before moving into Moreton Care Home last month.

Then, just five days after her mother moved into Moreton, Trisha was told it was closing in eight weeks’ time because the owners, the Methodist Housing Association (MHA), wanted to build retirement flats.

On Wednesday, Trisha’s mum moved into Resthaven Retirement Home - with the daughter describing the last fortnight as a ‘nightmare’.

“What really makes me angry is they [MHA] had already made the decision to close when we decided to put mum into Moreton - and they have only just told us,” said Trisha, of Hulham Road.

“She loved being at Davey Court and she was really upset when she had to move,” said Trisha.

“And she loved being at Moreton; the staff were just so lovely. It isn’t fair on her.”

Trisha and her sisters then had to compete in a ‘mad scramble’ with 30 other Moreton Care Home families to find somewhere in Exmouth that could care for people with advanced dementia.

“We looked at some places, which, frankly, we were not happy with,” she said. “It was even suggested that we look outside Exmouth. But mum has lived here all her life - she doesn’t want to be anywhere else.”

Fortunately, Trisha’s mum has been found a bed at Resthaven. “Mum only moved in this week,” said Trisha. “She is making lots of new friends. She just loves to talk!”

Exmouth’s Caron Sprake, who writes a campaigning blog to support the elderly, said: “I am disgusted that a church charity puts future profits over the lives of vulnerable elderly residents.

“MHA has offered to relocate residents, but this would be miles away in Cornwall or Poole. Many residents have friends locally and they would be isolated.”

A county spokesman said they were only told Moreton was closing last Tuesday, and added: “We are extremely disappointed that the home’s owners continued to accept long-term placements in the knowledge that they are intending to close.

“We would not have looked to place residents in the home had we known of their intentions.”

A spokesman for MHA said that Moreton was no longer ‘fit for purpose’, adding: “The decision to redevelop the site was made late in 2014.

“We made the announcement once a plan was in place to communicate the news and provide the necessary support.

“We recognise and deeply regret the upheaval this will cause to residents and their families.

“We are working closely with residents, families and the local authority to help them to find alternative accommodation as quickly as possible.”

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