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Fears for dementia patients as care home’s future thrown into doubt

Oakdale Lodge, Stanley Street, South Shields
Oakdale Lodge, Stanley Street, South Shields

ELDERLY dementia sufferers could need to find new housing after bosses at a South Tyneside care home admitted its future remains unclear.

Families with loved ones living at Oakdale Lodge were invited to a meeting yesterday after staff admitted the future of the home was under “serious review”.

They were informed Executive Care, which runs the care home, in Stanley Street, South Shields, rents the building from a private landlord, who is now in negotiations with a third party over the site’s redevelopment.

And if any deal goes ahead, then the 30 residents, the majority whom have dementia, will have to be rehoused.

One woman, whose 86-year-old mother lives at the home, told the Gazette of her upset at the news.

She said: “This has just all happened so quickly, I think something is amiss here.

“My mother has psychosis and I purposely chose Oakdale because it is one of the smallest care homes in the borough

“There’s no provision for people with psychosis, and I thought this was the best place to give my mother the care she needs. I chose her room, so she could see what’s going on and she is settled there.

“But to move people like this would be terrible.”

Care home bosses have confirmed they are reviewing the future of Oakdale Lodge and they will be announcing a decision in the near future.

A spokesman said: “We are currently in the process of informing staff, residents and their families, along with statutory authorities that we are completing a serious review of the future of Oakdale Lodge.

“While this home is loved by residents and staff alike, it is very unusual within our group due to its size and ownership.

“The building is not owned by Executive Care and while there has been investment in the home in recent years, it is not viable to invest further in a property that’s not ours.

“We are not protected by a long -term lease and some months ago we became aware that a third party was in direct negotiations with the landlord with a possible view to acquiring the site for redevelopment.

“Clearly, we are not privy to the detail of these discussions and we cannot control any negotiations regarding a property we do not own.

“In the light of this backdrop, we have been reviewing our options along with the possible impact on our residents and staff. We have brought this situation to everyone’s attention and will announce our decision in the near future.”

The landlord could not be contacted for a comment.

A spokesman for South Tyneside Council said: “The council has been made aware of speculation regarding the future of the Oakdale Lodge site and acknowledges that this is an unsettling time for residents and relatives. Their wellbeing and welfare remains our priority.

“The council and its partners will continue to work closely with Executive Care to clarify the situation and will continue to support service users and their families.”

Twitter: @shieldsgazvez