Fears over food for elderly

A PENSIONER today told of his fears that vulnerable elderly people may go hungry following the closure of a kitchen in an Ipswich residential home.Tenants at Peppercorn House have been warned that they will no longer have the option of freshly cooked meals every day and might need to reheat frozen meals.

A PENSIONER today told of his fears that vulnerable elderly people may go hungry following the closure of a kitchen in an Ipswich residential home.

Tenants at Peppercorn House have been warned that they will no longer have the option of freshly cooked meals every day and might need to reheat frozen meals.

But one resident at the centre today said not everyone has a microwave or is able to reheat their own meals.

William Potts, 84, said: “It is a really bad decision and it will have a big impact on some people.

“I will be fine because I am still able to cook my own food but others will have to find a new way of doing things.

“To get a carer to cook the meals every day if they can't do it themselves will be very expensive.

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“This will also be bad for the community users who come in to get meals five days a week when they use the activity centre.”

The daughter of another resident, who did not want to be named, said she was worried that residents' specific dietary requirements would no longer be catered for once outside providers were brought in.

The kitchen at the very sheltered accommodation, which allows people to live independently while still providing assistance, will be closing by May 28 and both the cooks will be made redundant.

But Sarah Holmes-Smith, director of older people and mental health services at Heritage Care which runs the home, said tenants should not be worried.

She said: “We are currently looking at lots of different options but the tenants will definitely continue to have the option of hot food every day.

“It was not our decision to close the kitchen, we were forced to by social services because they withdrew the funding.”

However a Suffolk County Council spokeswoman said: “Peppercorn House, a very sheltered housing scheme, was provided with a subsidy to prepare food for the local community meals service, but in future these meals will be provided by WRVS so no funding subsidy will be provided to Peppercorn House.”

She added that no funding had been given to prepare food for the tenants, and so the decision to withdraw funding should not affect that service.

Weblink: www.heritagecare.co.uk

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