The announcement of a prospective buyer for Donaghcloney Care Home has unfortunately come weeks too late for the 24 residents who were cared for there.
In November, Four Seasons Health Care announced the Donaghcloney home was one of seven across the province to be closed, and it ceased operating as such in February amid protestation.
Although the property has not as yet been sold, a statement by Four Seasons Health Care on Friday, April 15 confirmed they are currently in negotiations with a prospective buyer.
A spokesperson said: “We have accepted an offer for the vacant property, subject to completion of contract.”
Four Seasons Health Care went on to say it could not comment on whether the premises will re-open as a care home, however despite local speculation it was to be developed as a spa, it is now believed it will be run as a care home.
The group described the decision to close the home as a ‘difficult but unavoidable’ one, with the principal reason being attributed to the fact it was no longer viable.
On the closure of the seven homes Four Seasons Health Care said: “The fee income that the homes receive is below the cost of the care they are providing and we have effectively been paying a subsidy for them to continue to provide care.
“We regret that we cannot continue to sustain this position.”
Buyers for three of the threatened homes were subsequently found however, despite calls to keep the Donaghcloney home open its doors officially closed last Wednesday.
Among those effected was 79 year old Leslie Wallace.
Before the closure, Mr Wallace who has Parkinson’s Disease had warned a move to another care facility would be ‘over my dead body’.
He said: “All this business has really upset me. I told them all that I didn’t want to go, that it was too much for me - but what do you do about it?
Just weeks after moving into the Donaghcloney home, 87-year-old Edith Armstrong was also forced to move with her son saying she was ‘upset and frightened for the future’.
Blind for some 20 years and having lost a leg two years ago, Mrs Armstrong had remained in her own homeuntil a stroke in August meant her family were finally forced to look at residential care. “She needed 24-hour care, which we, as a family, wanted to give her, but it takes two people to lift her and it just wasn’t feasible for us,” ”said Edith’s son, Sam Armstrong. He wanted what assurance there was that should they move her to another Four Seasons home the same thing wouldn’t happen again.