Pensioner campaigns to keep Hazelwood care home open
A PENSIONER is campaigning against the closure of a council home for the elderly she said gave good care to her late 96-year-old mother.
Ruth Oakland, 72, said she wanted to see Hazelwood care home – where her mother, Amy Oakland, had been looked after for nearly three years – kept open.
Derbyshire County Council has said that up to 20 care homes need to be closed so that living standards can be improved and capacity increased because the elderly population in the county is set to double by 2030.
But Mrs Oakland, who described Hazelwood, in Ilkeston, as a “wonderful” home does not agree with the county council’s proposal.
She said: “My mum died nearly four weeks ago but I still want to fight (to keep the home open). It’s a very good home – one of the best. The care is excellent and there is a nice garden.
“The only thing I could say against it is none of the rooms have their own toilet. But the staff are always there to help.
“My mum loved it there. She was very happy.”
Tory-led Derbyshire County Council wants to close the homes by 2019 and replace them with 1,600 specialist extra-care flats and four “super” care centres across the county. The flats give residents their own front door, with on-site care support available 24-7.
Mrs Oakland, who lives in Toton, said the plan was unsuitable for many elderly people.
She said: “My mum could not have gone in one of these flats. If someone falls, there is no-one there to notice. She wouldn’t be able to walk outside the flat so wouldn’t see any other residents.”
Some flats have already opened, while the closures of Florence Shipley in Heanor and The Dales in Repton were confirmed last year.
Mrs Oakland said: “Some of the elderly people from the Heanor home have now moved into Hazelwood.
“It was very traumatic for them.
“They were quite upset because many of them didn’t know where they were, although they’re beginning to settle now.”
Meanwhile, Mrs Oakland said she was “very upset” after a petition against the planned closure of Hazelwood was “removed” by the county council.
The authority has since apologised to Mrs Oakland.
A spokesman said: “When the petition was first placed in Hazelwood last summer it was felt that, as any consultation was quite a long way off, it may cause undue stress or anxiety to residents. However, if relatives would like to have the petition at the home then they can do so and we’re sorry if this has caused any upset.”
She added: “No decisions have been made on the future of Hazelwood and won’t be before a full consultation is carried out with residents, relatives and other interested parties.
“We know that this can be an anxious time for residents and if a decision is made to close Hazelwood, we would work closely with each resident and their relatives to help them find a suitable alternative home where the care and support they would get would be as good as they are receiving now.”