Esme Dies After Being Forced Out Of Nursing Home

A woman of 103, served with an eviction notice by her nursing home, has died six weeks after being forced to move out.

{mosimage}Esme Collins couldn’t cope with the upheaval of moving to a new care home and ‘seemed to give up,’ her daughter said.

Both relatives and campaigners feared such a tragic outcome when Mrs Collins was originally threatened with eviction in a row with the local authority over funding in July, but efforts to keep her at the home she has lived in for eight years were thwarted by the owner.

Her daughter Esme Simpson, 84, of Worksop, Notts, admitted she was ‘bitter’ about her mother’s treatment.

She said: “How can you explain to a 103-year-old that she was being evicted over money? She didn’t deserve the awful indignity of being used as a weapon in a financial row.

“The whole experience has left me very bitter.”

Mrs Collins was transferred on 9 August from Abbeymoor nursing home in Worksop to Barnby Court in Retford 10 miles away. She is understood to have died about 10 days ago.

Mrs Simpson, who attended her mother’s funeral yesterday, said: “I have been 100 per cent grateful to the people at Barnby Court for the care and love they showed her. But not being around the Abbeymoor staff, who had been her family for eight years, she just seemed to give up.

“My mother lived everyday to the full and looked so content on the day she passed away. I know she would want me to move on. She would always say ‘Life’s too short to hold a grudge.'”

The Daily Mail’s Dignity for the Elderly campaign has highlighted numerous cases in which elderly people have died after suffering the trauma of being forced to move from one care home to another.

Care homes are closing at a rate of around one a week amid claims that fees paid by local authorities are insufficient to provide a good standard of care.

Mrs Collins was a great-great-grandmother who required round-the-clock nursing care as she suffered from severe osteoporosis and was bed-ridden. She had been paying £162 of her fees of around £400 a week from her pension funds with the balance coming from public funds.

Abbeymoor’s owner Mark Sutters demanded up to £150 a week more from the council to keep her at the home. Nottinghamshire County Council agreed to meet the demand after the intervention of Health Minister Ivan Lewis into the row.

But despite the pledge for more money, the home did not lift its eviction notice and, fearing it could close down in the near future, Mrs Collins’ family were forced into moving her.

Mervyn Kohler of Help the Aged said it could not believe that all the ‘messing around’ and moving Mrs Collins was not a ‘contributory factory’ in her death.

He said: “People like this are fairly frail and vulnerable and depend a great deal on routines and if those get disrupted then clearly that is not conducive towards the sort of stable and caring environment that somebody of that age requires.”

He added: “It’s a reminder of how we need to improve our game and treat people with dignity. We need a calm and secure environment for people of that age and frailty. We need a new solution to funding social care as a matter of priority.”

Mr Sutters said: “I was sorry to hear of the death of Esme Collins and, naturally, offer my condolences and best wishes to her family.”