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Dementia residents told to move again

PUBLISHED: 18:21 26 August 2009 | UPDATED: 10:17 12 August 2010

RELATIVES of elderly dementia sufferers have condemned plans to close a care home forcing their loved ones to move again. Plans are afoot to shut the Manorfields care home in Avalon Road, Orpington in 2011, but Gill Rutter, 49, whose 85-year-old aunt Fl

RELATIVES of elderly dementia sufferers have condemned plans to close a care home forcing their loved ones to move again.

Plans are afoot to shut the Manorfields care home in Avalon Road, Orpington in 2011, but Gill Rutter, 49, whose 85-year-old aunt Florence Lumb is living there says it is the family of residents who have the burden of finding alternative care.

At a meeting last Wednesday, frustrated relatives quizzed Lorna Blackwood, from Bromley council's adult and community services, on where their elderly relations will be moved to.

Teacher Mrs Rutter said: "This will be my aunt's third move. We have to go and find somewhere with spaces then we have to do all the negotiating. It's a nightmare- it's hard to find good care homes which your relatives like.

"It's depressing - in some of them, the residents are just sitting in their chairs going ga-ga. It is soul destroying. Something needs to be done, the situation is becoming drastic. My aunt has gone down hill very rapidly."

Mrs Rutter says the council has been unable to provide answers on where patients suffering from dementia will be housed as they can't be moved into independent housing.

Bromley council currently owns four care homes including Manorfields after closing Penge's Anne Sutherland House last spring and Sheila Stead House in Bushell Way, Chislehurst earlier this month.

Belle Grove, in Mickleham Road, St Paul's Cray is set to shut in winter next year, while Isard House, in Glebe House Drive, Hayes will close next summer and Kingswood House, in Mays Hill Road, Shortlands will close its doors in spring 2011.

The council claims the homes will not meet standards demanded by new building regulations and that a structural review of the existing buildings has shown that they cannot be adapted.

A spokesperson for Bromley council said: "Although the council recognises that some people will continue to need residential or nursing care, increasingly we are supporting people to remain independent at home or in extra care housing.

"We want to reassure residents and their families that the council is not proposing that the Manorfields residents should move to extra care housing. Manorfields will not close until all residents have been found alternative care home places based on their individual circumstances.

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