Roy has paid his dues

My grandfather Roy is a resident at Birch Avenue care home and as a family we are worried for his and the other residents' welfare should it close.

It caters for elderly sufferers of dementia. The staff are highly trained to deal with residents with complex and often demanding needs.

I am therefore confused by mention of the home being 'twice as expensive as other care homes providing similar care for people with similar health needs'.

I was led to believe that it is more expensive because it provides specialised care (which of course needs more staffing) which other homes in the area do not offer. My grandmother visited many homes in the area to find one which would take a dementia sufferer like my grandfather. As far as we are aware there are no others which would meet his needs and be within suitable travelling distance for an 83 year old to visit, come rain or shine every day (they have been married over 60 years and are devoted).

As well as dementia, he is also a severe diabetic, registered blind and in a wheelchair. He spent a lot of time both in hospital and another care home before, after much diligence and persistence, we luckily got him a place at Birch Avenue.

I also worked in a home and know the level of care at Birch Avenue is fantastic. The staff have endless patience, take their jobs very seriously and above all really do care about the residents.

As an extremely hard working building site foreman, Roy more than paid his dues during his working life. My grandmother now meets the near-500 a week bill from their life-savings. She would never begrudge paying it as we all want the best for Roy, but they are by no means living off the tax payer.

I do understand the government and NHS Sheffield need to make cutbacks in our current economic climate, but surely these should not be at the expense of some of the most vulnerable and needy in our society?

I hope they think very carefully about their impending decision and the impact it will have on people who desperately need expert care at Birch Avenue.

Faye Davies (grandaughter of Roy Hibberd) and family

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