Thackeray Place closure fears

A Limavady woman has spoken of her fears for her 99-year-old mother after it emerged yesterday the Western Trust care home where she has been living for four years could close.

As part of the ‘Transforming Your Care’ (TYC) reforms to encourage the elderly to live at home for as long as possible, rather than in care, at least half of all residential homes could be closed down.

Closures have already been confirmed for the Northern Trust, and now there are fears for four of five homes operated by the Western Trust in Derry, Strabane and Limavady. Only one, Seymour Gardens in Derry has been ringfenced, which places the future of Thackeray Place in Limavady is in doubt.

One woman from Limavady whose mother has lived in Thackeray – pictured right – for several years said it was very worrying.

“My mother is in her 99th year and she is paying for her care, and a move like this would destroy her. I’m convinced of that,” she told the ‘Journal’ yesterday. “I’m in my seventies and my sister is in her late seventies and it is a very worrying time. We are very anxious.”

The woman said Thackeray Place is extremely accessible for residents and their families and, most importantly, is her mother’s home.

“Thackeray is a huge part of the community in Limavady and, surely, any move to close it would be an infringement on human rights. Our elderly are our most vulnerable,” she said, “and they’re being shifted about likes pawns on a chess board. It’s a very anxious time and I would hope Limavady Council would not stand by and let Thackeray be closed. The word ‘care’ should be underlined here.

“Why would you distress a woman of that age because, if my mother is moved out of her home, that is exactly what they will do? It will destroy her.”

A spokesperson for the Western Trust told the ‘Journal’ yesterday: “The Trust has developed a proposal which will be taken to a Trust Board meeting later this week. The Western Trust currently has five residential homes within its remit in the Strabane, Derry and Limavady Council areas.

One of these homes, Seymour Gardens is registered as an EMI home (specifically for dementia sufferers), and as such is outside the consideration of TYC proposal.

“The remaining four general residential homes have 128 beds in total. As of 8 April 2013, 73 of these beds are occupied by permanently placed residents.

“The Trust will be engaging with the residents, families and our staff in each of the homes prior to the Trust Board Meeting to appraise them of the proposal and outline the arrangements for the consultation process.”

(Continued on page 5)