Fears over Essex care home closure

PUBLISHED: 12:19 07 August 2008 | UPDATED: 21:32 31 May 2010

Stanley Wilson Lodge care home.
Four Acres, Saffron Walden.
July 22, 2008.
Photograph by Michael Boyton.
Pic shows: External view of the care home.

Stanley Wilson Lodge care home. Four Acres, Saffron Walden. July 22, 2008. Photograph by Michael Boyton. Pic shows: External view of the care home.

A WOMAN has voiced her fears about the effect the closure of a care home and day centre will have on her mother s health. Care home Stanley Wilson Lodge in Four Acres, Saffron Walden, is due to close on September 20. Concerned daughter Teresa Rivers, whos

A WOMAN has voiced her fears about the effect the closure of a care home and day centre will have on her mother's health.

Care home Stanley Wilson Lodge in Four Acres, Saffron Walden, is due to close on September 20.

Concerned daughter Teresa Rivers, whose 83-year-old mother has used the home's day centre since 1999, said: "The service will be closed in just over six weeks' time and we still have no idea if, or where, she will be found a place."

Excelcare, the company which owns Stanley Wilson Lodge, has decided to demolish the home and build a new 79-bedroom care centre in its place.

The development, which has been approved by Uttlesford District Council, is expected to take around 18 months.

"I understand that the care home needs to be updated, but Excelcare has not done enough to ensure the wellbeing of the residents while it is closed," said Mrs Rivers. "My mother, Vera, has dementia and needs round-the-clock care. My father looks after her, but the day centre is vital because it gives him a rest."

Vera is one of 42 elderly people who rely on the day centre and its staff for specialist care.

Every morning before work Mrs Rivers, from Castle Camps, travels to her mother's house at Whiteshot Way, Saffron Walden, to help dress her and put her in a wheelchair. Vera attends the day centre for six and four days each week alternately.

"The day centre will provide a meal for the people who use it and help them with everyday tasks like bathing, but also it gives them companionship and stimulation," said Mrs Rivers.

"Being moved to a new environment can upset some of the patients - they don't like change and it can cause them a lot of distress. And if they have to move out of the area then it will make it harder for the family to visit."

In a letter to the carers of people who use Stanley Wilson Lodge, Excelcare regional operations manager Carol Doherty said they were "fully aware of the disruption a home closure will have on the lives of our residents and staff".

"We will be working in partnership with Essex County Council (ECC) to ensure alternative provision is made available and take into account the individual care needs of each user," she added.

A spokesman for ECC said: "The needs of residents are our top priority and the council will work with Excelcare, the residents and their carers to provide alternative placements, if it becomes necessary.

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