Pensioner tells of home heartbreak

PENSIONER Stanley Ward today told how the stress he has suffered over the closure of his residential home has resulted in him being hospitalised.

THIS is the sad face of a 99-year-old who is about to lose his home.

Stanley Ward today told how the stress he has suffered over the closure of his residential home, Abbeyfield in Norwich Road, has resulted in him being hospitalised.

He was so incensed he wrote to The Evening Star detailing his plight.

It is believed the closure has been prompted by a lack of residents. Although there is room for six residents, only one remains there since Mr Ward was admitted to hospital last week.

Mr Ward, originally from Westerfield, said: “When I found out it was closing, it really upset me. It is a lovely house and I don't want it to close.

“I think all this worry has made me ill and that is why I am in hospital now.

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“There is dedicated staff there who are all lovely. This is the worst thing that could have happened to me.

“I don't think the company has spent enough money on advertising the home.”

The Burma war veteran, who has never married or had children, moved to Bermuda when he was 48 and lived there for 30 years.

He worked in the newspaper industry all his life, doing various jobs in production departments.

As he did not want to move into a home abroad, he moved back to Ipswich and years later became a resident at Abbeyfield, where he has lived ever since.

Unfortunately due to deteriorating health problems, he will be forced to move into a nursing home if he becomes fit enough to leave hospital.

His sister, Ivy Smith, 92, said: “He has been at the home for years and loves it there. He even bought himself a scooter last week but he has really gone down hill because of all of this.”

An employee at the home, one of about six staff members, said: “There is only one lady left in the home now and she has been told she is moving on November 12 and the house will be empty then.

“We haven't been given our notice yet so I don't know what is going to happen to us. I think it is closing because of lack of residents but it is a shame as it is so nice.”

Owners of the home, Abbeyfield UK, were not available for comment.

This closure comes on the back of a policy to change the way Suffolk County Council runs its 17 homes. They are currently looking for partners to help redevelop the units, and also provide investment for people to receive more care in their own homes.

A council spokesman said none of these homes have been earmarked for closure yet.

What do you think of this home closing? Will it affect someone you know? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

For too long the older generation has been overlooked as people suffer care homes closing, dwindling pensions, hospital wards closing, and not enough carers in the community.

Our Golden Years series aims to make sure that the older years really are Golden Years.

If you have a story for Golden Years, call James Marston on 01473 324731, e-mail james.marston@eveningstar.co.uk or write to him at The Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN.

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