A reader sent this letter to Charity Watch UK about the Salvation Army and the care of her Mother at one of their care homes…
I would like to draw attention to the recent disgraceful episode at one of their care homes, where they have recently asked six of their residents with dementia to leave. Those asked to leave were their most needy ‘high dependency’ residents some of whom had been there for many years and had no alternative but to regard it as home.
My Mum was one of these six ‘high dependency’ residents and had been with them for four and a half years. She was by this time in advanced stages of Alzheimers but her main ‘dependency’ was on requiring two carers to help her from a chair and to aid her walking and occasionally two of them to help with personal care. She had no physical health problems that required any help beyond the remit of a district nurse and a registered ‘EMI’ home. A recent inspection (February) however required that the care home would need to staff up to meet the needs of their existing residents – they elected instead to offload almost half of those in the dementia unit. Yet the day I cleared my Mum’s room I noticed that the land next to the care home – gifted to Salvation Army by a local philanthropist – had been sold off to a developer to accommodate 40 houses. So much for ‘not for profit’ christian values!
In fact, my Mum died on the day she was due to move (Tuesday April 22). She had been unwell for about a fortnight and in bed since the Friday morning – it was only on the Sunday that I got confirmation, on returning home from an Easter holiday, that they agreed with me that Mum was not fit to travel the coming week to the new care home I had chosen. Mum was ‘lucky’ – she died in her familiar surroundings with myself/ the kind faces of care staff who had consistently shown consideration and concern. She did not have to face the 100 mile journey to a near residential home near my home in London, or be cared for by a new set of strangers. Another of the ousted residents was not so ‘lucky’ – she died at the breakfast table at her new home, the day after she was moved.
I am unhappy with the organisation and the decision-making process that meant my vulnerable Mum and others like her were being forced to leave their home at the most difficult time of their lives. BUT I need to emphasise that prior to this my Mum received loving and attentive care of a high standard for four and a half years. It is NOT its staff – or manager.
I am disappointed in those at the helm of the Salvation Army who clearly do not take their responsibility to their so-called “EMI’ registered homes seriously.
People like Mum have no voice at all.
I sent a message to Salvation Army headquarters re my unhappiness at Mum’s treatment and have not received any response at all apart from a general acknowledgement ending God Bless…
The writer wishes to remain anonymous.
If you have any stories about organisations behaving badly, who should know better, then let us know.