'Immoral' closure of Cork care home should be reversed says daughter of 100-year-old resident

'Immoral' closure of Cork care home should be reversed says daughter of 100-year-old resident
Home employee Majella Lynch, relatives of residents Caroline Levin and Mary Lynch pictured at a meeting at Neptune Stadium, Cork following the announcement that the local respite home Mount Cara will close.Pic Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provisions

A DAUGHTER of a 100-year-old woman has said the decision to close the residential facility where her mother lives is “immoral” and should be reversed.

Speaking at a press conference today hosted by staff, families of residents and community activists, a call was put out to the HSE to save Mount Cara on Redemption Road in Blackpool.

Mary Lynch, whose 100-year-old mother is a resident at Mount Cara, also known as Cara House, says the prospect of having to move her mother is “absolutely heartbreaking”.

"She was born in this area and we all grew up here.

"With Covid-19 restrictions, we would have to just move her from Cara House and wheel her in the door of another facility and then wave goodbye.

"The government put protections in place for everybody and we all made sacrifices to protect each other but where is the protection for my mother and her friends?

Sr Patricia O'Donovan (sister of a resident) pictured at a meeting at Neptune Stadium, Cork following the announcement that the local respite home Mount Cara will close.Pic Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision
Sr Patricia O'Donovan (sister of a resident) pictured at a meeting at Neptune Stadium, Cork following the announcement that the local respite home Mount Cara will close.Pic Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision

"The government should be ashamed of themselves, this is an immoral decision and it makes the residents feel as if they are not valued.

"My mother has value, she is valuable to us and she deserves better,” Ms Lynch continued.

In a statement issued to The Echo on July 16, the Board of Mount Cara said the decision to close was not made lightly.

"As a Board, we have taken the hard decision to begin the process of winding down Mount Cara in a planned format.

"All staff have been fully briefed of the situation.

Cllr Tony Fitzgerld (Fianna Fail) speaking.Press Conference held by the families of the residents of Mount Cara Nursing Home, Redemption Room in oppsoition to the closure of the nursing home.Credit: Damian Coleman
Cllr Tony Fitzgerld (Fianna Fail) speaking.Press Conference held by the families of the residents of Mount Cara Nursing Home, Redemption Room in oppsoition to the closure of the nursing home.Credit: Damian Coleman

"We have also been in contact with all residents’ families and will continue to keep them informed as timelines are finalised," they said.

"The new challenges posed by Covid-19, along with the reduction in occupancy have led to this decision.

"Mount Cara is a residential facility for older people and although it complies with Nursing Home Standards, it is not covered by the Fair Deal Scheme for residents.

"The increased provision of sheltered housing, home care packages and home help supports have also impacted on the demand for Mount Cara services," the statement continued.

Fred Richmond (son of a resident) pictured at a meeting at Neptune Stadium, Cork following the announcement that the local respite home Mount Cara will close.Pic Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision
Fred Richmond (son of a resident) pictured at a meeting at Neptune Stadium, Cork following the announcement that the local respite home Mount Cara will close.Pic Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision

However, speaking at the press conference held in Neptune Stadium today, staff member Majella Lynch, said there has been conflicting information given as to why the facility is to close.

“We stand united with members of the resident’s families in not letting our most vulnerable members of society be pushed out of their home.

"The information given by the Board of Management to the press was not the information briefed to staff on July 3 to inform us of the closure.

"Moving our residents in such detrimental times we believe poses an extremely high risk to their well-being and puts their lives at risk.

Sr Patricia O'Donovan (sister of a resident) pictured at a meeting at Neptune Stadium, Cork following the announcement that the local respite home Mount Cara will close.Pic Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision
Sr Patricia O'Donovan (sister of a resident) pictured at a meeting at Neptune Stadium, Cork following the announcement that the local respite home Mount Cara will close.Pic Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision

"It’s evident to see that we have managed with the obstacles arising from Covid-19,” she said.

Cork North Central TD Thomas Gould said closing the facility which has been in existence for nearly 31 years and is currently home to 15 residents would be a “devastating blow” for the northside of the city.

"This has been an extremely difficult time for the families and staff in Mount Cara House but they rose to the challenge and they managed to keep the facility Covid-19 free and keep the residents safe and happy,” Deputy Gould said.

"People should be cared for in their own communities and these residents have made Cara House their home.

"The staff and other residents are like family to them and it would be a disgrace if the HSE allow this to close," the Sinn Féin TD continued.

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