The residents of Crozier House were cautiously pleased on Friday, as they personally received news from the Health Minister that they would be allowed to remain in their home.
Awaiting the arrival of Health Minister and Lagan Valley MLA Edwin Poots to the Banbridge care home on April 18, brothers Gerard and Harry Uprichard joked that they were only nonagenarians but that the woman beside them was almost a ‘centurion’.
Despite their humour, the care needs of the elderly are an important issue.
Harry, 96, explained how awful it is to lose your independence.
He said: “If it wasn’t for Crozier House, where would we go?
“We have neither house nor home now.”
He added: “It is a good thing that they have allowed the home to stay open and we are pleased, but I have been reading all about it in the newspapers and feel concerned that Mr Poots hasn’t made it clear as to whether there will be any new admissions or not.
“We’ve been discussing this in the home.”
The brothers, who were reared at New Line, Lurgan, have been resident in Crozier House since March of last year.
Gerard, 94, said: “It’s not ‘home’, but it is ‘a home’ and they look after us well here.”
Gerard also has mixed feelings about the announcement.
While he welcomes it he said: “I just feel that Edwin has left one thing out in his statement - he hasn’t clarified the part about no new admissions.
“What does this mean for us?
“Will it mean that the homes will gradually be run down and then closed?”
Sally Forsythe has been living independently at her home in Dromore, but is glad of Crozier House for respite care.
Due to turn 100 next week, Sally said: “I’m glad Crozier House will be kept here for everyone’s betterment.
“It’s my first time in here, but everyone’s doing their best for us and they keep us smiling.”