I have been a trained nurse all my working life and specialised in care of the elderly.
It came as a shock to me to read that the proposal to close Craw Wood care home in Tweedbank is under way.
My first thought is of how this will impact on the lives of the residents who have been settled there for some time, building up relationships with staff, volunteers and fellow clients. Any change is especially hard when suffering from advanced dementia and can bring on extreme anxiety, panic and depression.
This would be detrimental to not only the clients, but also to family and staff morale. They would have to cope with witnessing this distress and suffering brought by moving clients to alternative accommodation due to lack of funding.
Craw Wood now has a good feel about the place. Clients can be themselves. All are treated with respect, care and compassion. Clients are free to wander around safely if they choose. Respite beds are also provided which are greatly needed to keep clients at home for as long as possible until long-term care is necessary.
Craw Wood was only purpose-built for clients with dementia in 1996. Stirling University spent two years researching and planning in assisting the setting up of this model unit where best of practice in dementia care could be provided by Borders Health Board, Scottish Borders Council and Eildon Housing. Stirling still has links with the training of staff.
Best of care has, unfortunately, a funding cost – but high-quality dementia care should surely be the aim when strategic planning is being consulted on at this present time. I urge Borders Health Board, Scottish Borders Council, and Eildon Housing to look at the proposal again and come up with the increased funding to keep this much-needed resource going.
Surely to avoid bed-blocking in hopitals, all our units for dementia care are precious and very necessary in an area like this where the number of frail elderly is on the increase.