105-year-old last to go as home closes

Ellen Langford on her 105th birthday with daughter Sylvia de Lara at Alexandra Lodge which is set to close
Ellen Langford on her 105th birthday with daughter Sylvia de Lara at Alexandra Lodge which is set to close

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A WOMAN aged 105 has become the last pensioner to be moved out of a Portsmouth residential home.

Ellen Langford was moved from Alexandra Lodge in Hilsea yesterday, after Portsmouth City Council closed it down.

Her daughter Sylvia De Lara said: ‘She’s going to a nice place in Drayton, but she’s disoriented and confused.

‘She keeps asking me if the centre’s being closed down because it’s too old now.’

Mrs Langford has lived at the home in Wyllie Road for just over five years.

She celebrated her 105th birthday there with other residents and staff.

But yesterday, she and another resident left – the last two of 24 people who have now moved so the Lodge can be shut.

Mrs De Lara said: ‘She will miss it, and so will I.

‘The staff were wonderful. They did things for her that I couldn’t have done and they are as sad as we all are about the Lodge closing. It’s a very sad day.’

Portsmouth City Council has shut the 50-bed home as part of plans to build 125 extra care apartments for older people, 10 for younger people with disabilities, a 20-bed respite facility and eight family homes.

The council believes lower running costs for the new facilities will save £21.7m over the next 30 years.

Councillors and care managers insist it’s aimed at helping older people to have more independence, rather than saving cash.

But Mrs De Lara said: ‘I don’t think it’s fair to expect people like her to just change.

‘I know she will be looked after in her new home, but she will wonder where the people she knows are, and why everything has changed.’

Cllr Leo Madden, council chief for adult social care, said: ‘I understand that people are not happy when they get used to somewhere to live, but what we want for current and future residents is the highest standard of care possible.’