Care for the elderly is an issue that is close to us all.
So last week’s news that three care homes and four day centres run by Leeds City Council are facing the axe makes pretty stark reading – but it has cruelly become the norm.
Multi-million pound Government cuts to the local authority’s budget are to blame once again, as consecutive cuts to adult social care in Leeds hit home to the point that there are now few council-run care homes in the city.
You could argue that the council could prioritise other areas for cuts, but the fact of the matter is by March 2016 Leeds will have received £180million less in total core funding in five years – that’s more than a 40 per cent drop.
Unfortunately such sizeable cuts were always going to hit frontline services like care homes.
My issue with care home cuts is largely down to the principle that by the time that many people enter care homes they can no longer make sense of situations, and effectively no longer have a say.
Residents are left in the hands of politicians and their families – if they are lucky enough to have loved ones concerned with their welfare – to fight their corners. Many can’t protest.
Whether you blame care home cuts on the council itself, or the Government that to a certain extent ties its hands, care home residents are the ones who at the end of the day have to face the confusion and upset of being moved often from places in which they are settled.
The emphasis needs to be on the individuals who face this upheaval. They still deserve a voice and a say on their future care and that must be heard.
PLANS TO CLOSE THREE HOMES
Three older people’s care homes and four day centres in Leeds are set to close as the council bids to save £2m.
Residential homes Middlecross in Armley, Siegen Manor in Morley and The Green in Seacroft – which all have attached day centres – could face closure.
Also facing closure are Springfield day centre in Beeston, Radcliffe Lane in Pudsey and two specialist centres for older people from ethnic minority communities – the Apna centre in Woodhouse and Frederick Hurdle, Chapeltown.
A consultation with service users and their families is being launched and the centres could close by summer next year.