Scotland’s only specialist sight loss care homes sets closing date

Two specialist care homes supporting blind and partially sighted elderly people could close within three months with bosses citing “unsustainable financial losses”.

Pictured: Braeside House care home in Edinburgh

Owned by Sight Scotland the care homes are the only live in facilities providing special support for people with sensory impairments.

Jenny's Well in Paisley looks after 21 residents and Braeside House in Edinburgh cares for 31.

Sign up to our public interest bulletins - get the latest news on the Coronavirus

Sign up to our public interest bulletins - get the latest news on the Coronavirus

Charity chiefs told family and residents on Thursday evening that they will potentially close both care homes by April.

Chief Executive of Sight Scotland Mark O’Donnell today confirmed that need for closure was due to an increasingly difficult financial environment caused in part by the coronavirus pandemic.

Adding that the charity have been forced to delve into their own reserves to keep the specialist facility going during the pandemic.

He said: “It is with great sadness that we have announced that we are proposing to potentially close our two care homes for older people, Braeside House in Edinburgh and Jenny's Well in Paisley.

"An increasingly difficult financial environment for care homes has meant we have had to subsidise heavily our older people’s care homes from our charitable reserves, to a level that is no longer sustainable.

“The pandemic has thrown these issues into sharp relief. We have sought independent expert advice from different sources, all of which has sadly concluded that there is little realistic prospect of turning this around."

Annual losses incurred at care homes is as much as £1.5m and is expected to increase to about £2m in the current financial year.

Mr O’Donnell said the charity had sought independent expert advice which concluded that there is little realistic prospect of turning this around.

Families of residents at both homes have been left devastated by the "unexpected" news and have highlighted concerns about the logistics of moving their frail relatives.

The daughter of one 95-year old resident who has lived in Braeside House care home for 10 years says she is horrified at the prospect of moving her ‘frail’ mother.

She said: “My mum is 95, she has five per cent vision, dementia, is bedridden and very frail.

“I am horrified about moving her, especially during a Scottish winter. If I am honest, I have no idea how we are doing to manage it.”

A message from the Editor:Thank you for reading this article. We're more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by coronavirus impacts our advertisers.

If you haven't already, please consider supporting our trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription.

 0 comments

Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.