'We think it will kill her': Families shock after Acorn Lodge care home announces closure

  • Granada Reports correspondent Tim Scott spoke to family members about the future of their loved ones.

Families of people living in a care home that is due to close say forcing their loved-ones to leave and find new accommodation will put them under unbearable strain.

The management of Acorn Lodge in Failsworth, Greater Manchester, announced is had sold the building to be renovated and re-purposed.

All of the current 68 residents, many with dementia, will have to live elsewhere.

Jakki Hope and Julie Hope's mother Kathleen is one of those residents, she has lived at Acorn Lodge for five years, they are worried the move will kill the 85-year-old.

"We think it'll kill her if she has to move, we think she'll die," Julie said. "That's what we're worried about, she's 85."

Jakki added: "It's absolutely terrible, we couldn't believe [the home is closing], we thought it was a joke, a rumour, but no, it's true."

Sharon Freakes' father lives in Acorn Lodge. Credit: ITV Granada Reports

Sharon Freakes' 88 year-old father, who also has dementia, has lived at Acorn Lodge for nine months.

She said: "Everyone is just hurting inside, thinking how are we going to tell them? It's just unthinkable."

Her father currently needs a special Elderly Mentally Infirm (EMI) bed at the unit because he has a particular advanced stage of dementia.

She worries that they will struggle to find him these resources elsewhere.

Linda Walsh and Barbara Hatch are sisters who are worried about their mother.

Linda Walsh and Barbara Hatch are sisters whose mother lives at Acorn Lodge.

They say the home provides a great standard of care, the staff work well and the residents are happy where they are.

They believe having to move could "kill" their mother.

"It's a brilliant home, it's very family oriented, each unit has their own little family," Linda said.

"It will kill a lot of them [residents] in there, because they are really, really upset."

The home's management cite financial for the closure, and said funding for the sector had not "kept pace" with inflation and the cost of living.

In a statement it said: "We have made Oldham Council aware that we, as owners of the Acorn Lodge Nursing Home, have agreed a sale of Acorn Lodge to Exemplar Health Care who plan to extensively refurbish and renovate the home and re-open it as a specialist home for adults living with acquired brain injuries, neurological conditions, dementia and physical disabilities.

"Funding for the health and social care system in recent years has not kept pace with therate of inflation and the other costs of day-to-day living. 

"These will, as is evidenced from the large number of other closures in the area, start to have an impact in the future.

"It was for this reason that we had made the difficult decision to sell the home, before any financial struggles started and whilst we could still ensure the highest quality of service and care."

Oldham Council said that while they are frustrated at the short notice of the announcement to close Acorn Lodge, they cannot prevent it being closed.

It added it was now working to try and re-home residents as quickly as possible.