According to the ‘West End Extra’
“Vulnerable elderly people are being put up in care homes outside Westminster leading to concerns they are missing out on much-needed visits from friends and relatives.
Joan O’Connell, 62, says she knows of two of her “vulnerable” friends were put in accommodation in west London. She said: “I know of two elderly ladies who have lived near Victoria for over 30 years, who have been sent to Ealing care homes in the last year. Many of their friends naturally are elderly and can’t make that long journey.”
Neither of the women had relatives in the country she said and relied on their friends for company. But the expense and difficulty of visiting them at their care homes meant they were seeing much less of them.
One, aged 88 and believed to be suffering from dementia, has been moved to a home in North Acton.
She was moved to the home after her health began to deteriorate, making it harder for her to care for herself at home. She had suffered a number of falls and was “leaving her front door open” repeatedly, said Ms O’Connell. She said her friend was told by the council there were “no vacancies” in Victoria.
A former volunteer for the Friends of the Elderly group, she feels it is “cruel” to send them to live so far from everyone they know.
“She said to me: ‘your visits keep me sane’. I can see she is depressed and I am afraid her dementia will get worse. There are probably a lot of elderly people like her who have no family and who can’t manage.”
The second lady, who is in her 90s, also suffers from dementia and only has family in Spain,
A Westminster Council spokeswoman said it was “not always practical” to offer accommodation close to people’s homes, adding: “The wellbeing of people in our care is our priority and we will always act in their best interests.
“We aim to offer accommodation as close to home as possible but this is not always practical. We do sometimes have to place people in care homes outside of Westminster when no local accommodation is available or when people request to be close to family.
“This important decision is made only with the consent of the person involved, or their family or next of kin if they are unable to make their own decisions.”