THE family of a 105-year-old woman whose council-run care home is being shut down is pleading for her to be allowed to stay with her friends.
Ellen Langford is among 24 elderly residents who were told this week that they must leave Alexandra Lodge for good, because Portsmouth City Council has decided to close it.
The families of residents say the move, to be enforced in June this year, will leave their relatives traumatised and alone.
Sylvia De Lara, Mrs Langford’s daughter, said: ‘It’s very sad and traumatic. Mum knows the home, and she’s very old, so moving will be terribly disorienting for her. There are other care homes, but Alexandra Lodge is lovely. The staff are excellent. It will be very difficult for her to move where she doesn’t know anyone or anything.’
Mrs Langford has lived at Alexandra Lodge, in Wylie Road, Hilsea, for five years.
She celebrated her 105th birthday there with other residents and staff.
Portsmouth City Council is shutting 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.
It could save £21.7m over the next 30 years, but councillors and care managers say they designed the policy to help older people have more independence, rather than to save cash.
Mrs De Lara said: ‘All the residents are very happy and it’s so sad they’ll have to leave. We understand the council’s reasons. We told mum and she just asked where she was going to go. It’s on her mind. She’s very disorientated.’
John Thackaberry, whose wife Heather is a friend of 86-year-old resident Martha Colgrave, said: ‘They feel they are now just a lonely group who have been forgotten about. Preparation should have been made for them to move somewhere together. They are friends and they are to be split up.’
Councillor Leo Madden, the council’s leader for adult social care, said: ‘We understand this can be a worrying time. But we have to do this because Portsmouth’s demographic is changing. We’ll work to find the best place for each resident. We’ll try to move groups of three to four to places together, but I’m not sure we can with bigger groups.’