GLENSIDE, the residential care home in Douglas, said goodbye to its last resident on Monday as it prepared to close down for good at Easter.
All 57 residents have now been moved to alternative accommodation after consultation with them and their families.
Douglas North MHK Bill Henderson expressed his anger at the closure, saying: ‘I’m desperately unhappy with the closure of this building. It has been a magnificent place over the past few decades.
‘I fought to stop this happening in 2008 with my colleague John Houghton. Hundreds of thousands were spent on a new kitchen and new cark park. We have a rising elderly population that needs to be cared for.
‘The government keep pumping out this spin that people want to stay at home as long as possible but it’s a complete mistruth. Of course people like to stay in their own home as long as they can, but there comes a time when a person will know themselves that they are too frail or feel too lonely to live at home, especially if they are on their own.’
He added: ‘That’s when they need a place like Glenside with the safety and security it provided. This has been a top factor in my constituency.
‘This “live at home” policy has been rolled around Britain from the Thatcher years. It’s a complete falsehood. It’s been proven that it actually costs more to care for someone at home than it does in a residential home.
‘The failings of this scheme were recently highlighted in the UK when one person was left for days after they died in their own home because the care providers had changed contracts and there was a mix up over who was providing care.
‘Our island’s elderly population has been potentially a ticking grey time bomb for 20 years now, the government needs to plan for it – it could cause a bigger explosion than the MEA and VAT.’
A spokesperson for the Department of Social Care said: ‘All the residents have now been moved and their care needs and preferences were discussed at great length with them and their families before they were relocated.
‘They have moved to various different locations around the island such as Reayrt Skyal in Ramsey, Thie Meanagh in Douglas and Southlands in Port St Mary.
‘All staff have either moved to other jobs, been transferred within departments or retired themselves.’
The Day Centre at Glenside, run by Age Concern, will also remain open until Easter.