Older care home residents told to leave over ‘disruptive behaviour’

Three elderly women have been asked to leave
their sheltered accommodation because of their alleged disruptive
behaviour. The Abbeyfield Society, which runs the home and is now
liaising with social services in a bid to resolve the situation,
has been criticised by Age Concern.

The trio, who are all over 90, have been asked
to leave Abbeyfield House in Stow-on-the-Wold, Gloucestershire
after receiving warnings that their behaviour had caused a series
of staff resignations and is threatening the home’s long- term

However, the three residents, who now face the
prospect of losing their accommodation, deny that their behaviour
has caused disruption and an unpleasant atmosphere that has led to
acute staff shortages and the prospect of the home closing down

Celia Gill, aged 94, Anita Merrick, aged 92,
and another 94-year-old resident who does not wish to be named have
been told that their “haughty and divisive” behaviour and critical
comments must cease. The three women say they are not troublemakers
and that they simply wish to draw attention to issues that they do
not feel comfortable with.

Stephen Boyo, housing policy officer at Age
Concern, says that the situation could have been avoided: “We are
very concerned about the deep distress this is likely to have
caused to the residents and the way that the situation has been
allowed to develop.

“We run the Age Concern Advice, Information
and Mediation Service, and this is a way of attempting to resolve
disputes for older people before they reach such a serious stage.
If proper dispute resolution had been put in place at the right
time, it is doubtful that such a damaging conclusion would have
been reached.”

A spokesperson for the Abbeyfield Society said
that the charity provides housing and care in small friendly
households for about 8,500 older people. “It is part of
Abbeyfield’s ethos to maintain a pleasant domestic atmosphere for
the benefit of residents and all concerned.” He added that
Abbeyfield had initiated its own quality standard, endorsed by
housing regulators, which local Abbeyfield societies were working
towards. This included the Abbeyfield Stow Society.

“At Abbeyfield House this atmosphere is
threatened and the local Abbeyfield Stow Society is doing all it
can to restore harmony,” he said. “It is working to resolve the
difficulties with three residents who have received two verbal
warnings and a written warning informing them that disruptive
behaviour must cease, so that all the residents can live together
peacefully in the house.”

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