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Tuesday, 02 September 2014

Manors residents hit back at isolation claims

RESIDENTS of the £6.5 million Manors extra care scheme in Prudhoe have reacted angrily to claims they have been let down by facilities there.

Last week, a relative of a woman in her 80s who lives at the complex told the Courant some were growing “depressed and isolated” in the absence of day care facilities.

She argued that no activities have been run to encourage social interaction, with the result that communal lounges were underused.

However, many residents have since come forward to say their experiences have been wholly positive.

Maureen Batey (62), who has been there for over seven weeks, said: “It’s absolutely brilliant and the people who have moved in are lucky.

“I was previously living in a bungalow and I felt isolated there, but the Manors has opened up opportunities for me socially.”

She added that staff were extremely helpful and always willing to discuss any problems. They had also encouraged residents to share their suggestions at a meeting today.

Another resident, Audrey Hall, who has been at the Manors for just over four weeks, wrote to the Courant saying there was “no depression here”.

The scheme manager Julie Sedgewick could be approached with any problem, she added, and there were plenty of opportunities for socialising.

Peter James, whose 88-year-old mother Edna lives there, described it as “absolutely wonderful”, while Elaine Howe said: “My mother is very positive about the Manors.

“Even just going down to lunch gives her the opportunity to see people and chat.”

The West Wylam scheme, which is being run by Milecastle Housing, was developed in partnership with Northumberland Care Trust and Northumberland County Council.

The former Tynedale Council was also involved at its inception, and £4.5 million of funding came from the Department of Health.

It consists of 46 apartments, and is designed to give older people both independence and support.

A care team is always on site and The Manor Kitchen cafe is open to residents and public alike all day.

Managing director of Milecastle Bill Tebay said: “We know our staff provide a welcoming and caring atmosphere, but it’s still very pleasing to hear that the residents are already so protective of the scheme and feel such loyalty to it.”

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