Labour MP Ruth George paid a visit to The Hawthorns, Salvation Army care home in Buxton on Wednesday (11 April) to hear the charity’s concerns about the rising numbers of over-75s who can’t afford their own care.
The MP for High Peak was invited by The Salvation Army to meet residents and find out from staff how the current, asset-based adult social care funding is leaving older people; without property or savings, unable to pay for care in later life.
During her visit Ms. George was shown around some of The Hawthorns’ 34 bedrooms, the lounge areas and sensory garden, by service manager, Helen Bentley. The MP also met two residents, Irene and Geoff, who were both full of praise for the centre and its “absolutely lovely” staff.
Ruth George, MP, said:
“I really enjoyed my visit, particularly meeting Irene and Geoff whose enthusiasm and positivity were infectious. Everyone at The Hawthorns was so warm and welcoming and Helen and her team do an amazing job with limited resources.
“But as the social care funding crisis deepens it’s hard to see how The Salvation Army can continue to offer the level of care they currently do for the most vulnerable older people. It’s an issue we should all be concerned about in an ageing population and I will certainly be raising it with my parliamentary colleagues.”
The Hawthorns’ service manager, Helen Bentley said:
“I’m so pleased that Ruth George took time out of her busy schedule to come and see us and listen to our concerns. At the moment just over a quarter of our residents’ places are funded by Derbyshire County Council because they don’t have homes of their own to sell to pay for their place. But local councils are really struggling financially, so there’s always a shortfall in the funding, which The Salvation Army currently pays to make it up.
“The gap in funding between what the local authority contributes and the cost of care we provide is widening all the time and it’s just going to get worse as more people live longer but less of them have any property or savings to pay for residential care. Something needs to be done urgently or charities like us won’t be able to provide for the older people who need our help most.”
Situated on Burlington Road, Buxton, The Hawthorns has accommodation for 34 residents in private rooms which all have a call bell. There are three communal lounge areas, a conservatory, enclosed patio and sensory garden which residents are encouraged to make full use of. A hairdresser visits The Hawthorns every week and there is a wide variety of entertainment and activities for residents to enjoy too.
The Hawthorns is one of 13 residential care homes across the United Kingdom that are owned and run by The Salvation Army; providing care for life, unless a resident’s changing circumstances mean that more specialist care, nursing or hospital care is necessary.
All Salvation Army care homes aim to offer compassionate, person-centred care for every resident, with a special emphasis on the spiritual wellbeing of both residents and staff.