Norman Lamb MP visited The Salvation Army’s care home in North Walsham on Friday (18 January) to hear the charity’s concerns about the rising number of over-75s who are struggling to afford their own care.
The Member of Parliament for North Norfolk was invited by The Salvation Army to meet residents of Furze Hill House and find out 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 the visit, Mr Lamb was shown around the home by service manager Jodie Hemmings and The Salvation Army’s Public Affairs Adviser, Ian Geary.
Ian Geary said: “I am pleased Mr Lamb took time out of his busy schedule to come and listen to our concerns.
“At the moment 30 per cent of places at Furze Hill House are funded by Norfolk County Council because residents don’t have the financial resources either through property, income and/or savings to pay for their care.
“But the gap in funding between what the local council can contribute and the cost of care we provide is widening all the time. It’s just going to get worse as more people live longer but less people are able to own property or have savings to pay for care.
“Urgent action is required to ensure the adult social care system is sustainable for the long-term. Our older citizens deserve the best quality of care, regardless of their ability to pay.”
Situated on Happisburgh Road, North Walsham, Furze Hill House is a purpose-built home for older people specialising in dementia care with 40 en-suite private rooms, social spaces, a landscaped garden, a general store, chapel and a hairdressing room. A variety of entertainment and activities are offered, including games and quizzes, arts and crafts and musical performances.
Mr Lamb said: “It was very good to visit Furze Hill House again and to talk to residents and discuss the future of social care. It was really good to hear about all the activities organised for residents - including baking. Most impressed!”
Furze Hill House is one of 12 residential care homes across the United Kingdom that are owned and run by The Salvation Army. All Salvation Army care homes aim to offer compassionate, person-centred care for every resident. Care is enhanced by the support of Salvation Army chaplains, who are available to residents, relatives and friends as well as staff.
In addition to a care home for older people, The Salvation Army in North Walsham has a church on Hall Lane and a community centre next to the care home which offers a dementia café and a ‘Cameo’ (Come and meet each other) social club run in partnership with the North Walsham Dementia Support Group and a dementia respite service.