‘Please don’t kick us out’ – Sunderland old folks plead with care home owners

Jubilee Care Home residents l-r Dorothy Clark, Margaret Hindmarsh and Margaret Mole hoping  to keep their care home open.
Jubilee Care Home residents l-r Dorothy Clark, Margaret Hindmarsh and Margaret Mole hoping to keep their care home open.
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DEVASTATED residents today called on care home chiefs not to kick them out.

Jubilee Care Home, in Sunderland, is set to close in the next few months because the owners said it was no longer “economically viable”.

'Please don't close us' signs at the Jubilee Care Home, Thornhill Crescent, Sunderland.

'Please don't close us' signs at the Jubilee Care Home, Thornhill Crescent, Sunderland.

But people living there are fighting against the plans.

Banners have been draped over the railings surrounding the Thornhill Terrace building – home to 22 people – saying “Please don’t close us”. The message was also painted on the windows.

Residents Margaret Mole, 86, Dorothy Clark, 88, and Margaret Hindmarsh, 74, have penned a moving letter to Essex-based owners Caring Homes, begging bosses to understand their anger and let them stay put.

Grandmother-of-five Dorothy, who has lived at the home for seven months, said: “We are trying 100 per cent to make them see sense. We do not want to be moved.”

Staff and residents found out this week that the home would close when they got a letter without any warning.

Two relatives said they did not even receive the letter, only finding out about the decision to close from the story in the Echo.

George Hounslow, 66, of Fulwell, who visits his mum Doreen, 91, at the home every day, said: “We found out on Monday what has been decided. There has been no consultation or anything.

“The idea behind the banners is to try and keep it open and so the residents feel like they are doing something to say they don’t want to be moved.”

Residents said the decision has left themselves and staff heartbroken.

Margaret Hindmarsh, a grandmother-of-two, said: “We have all been upset and crying. They are breaking up a family.

“When my daughter brought me here I had two days to live. I couldn’t speak, or eat or walk. Now, thanks to the staff, I am fully competent.”

Dorothy said: “I’ve been here seven months. Me and my son looked at nine different places before we came back to this one.

“Everybody has been crying every day, and in the end we have to laugh and make jokes because there is nothing else to do. We keep telling each other it is going to be fine, but is it?”

Laird MacKay, group operations director with Caring Homes, said: “The decision to close Jubilee has been very difficult for us and has not been taken lightly. Our role is to provide high quality care for all of our residents and the closure of a home is never something we want to do.

“The local authority cut funding by three per cent last year, and with increased pressure on budgets, care providers are expecting additional cuts in years to come. This, combined with low occupancy over an extended length of time means that, regretfully, it is not economically possible to keep Jubilee open.

“We have a responsibility to every person we support and to everyone we employ. That responsibility requires that, as an organisation, we remain sustainable for the benefit of all our homes and residents.

“I want to reassure residents and their families that we are determined to help them find new homes that are right for them and we are working with all the appropriate authorities to make this happen. Similarly, we are engaging in a detailed consultation process with the staff team at the home to help them find alternative employment where possible.”

‘If ever there was a miracle to be found, we need it now’ – emotional letter from care home residents

On behalf of the residents of Jubilee (our home) I wish to make a huge protest against whoever owns Jubilee. You should realise not everything is down to profit most of the good things that come to our home do not include money but caring, kindness and love in the home you pick, as we can no longer live our own homes. We are told all the time we have Government choice in where we live and who cares for us so where is our choice now?

I have lived at Jubilee for three months. I could not walk or talk when I came here but if you could see me now. The night I came to Jubilee I told my daughter “I am not staying here I am dying.” Reluctantly I decided to stay as my daughter was no longer able to care for me at home, and guess what? I had a one to one chat with Ann, the activities lady, about the past and we came right back to the future. The nursing care I have received here is second to none; the love and care all the staff here give is excellent, I could not wish for better. The staff at Jubilee have got me through a very bad time in my life. They are not just workers they are friends and are a big part of my home. They get me through the bad times as I now live day to day. My family cannot believe that Jubilee is closing, it has such a good reputation within the community.

You are trying to break up my family and it’s not right. Both residents and staff have been so upset and crying. The staff are trying their best to keep our spirits up but this is an awful situation your company has put us in.

If ever there was a miracle to be found we need it now.