“Swimming with Sharks” – Southern Cross 4

In my time with ExtraCare Charitable Trust, we often did very adventurous things with our elderly residents.  Sailing, climbing, canoeing, absailing and horse riding were all accomplished by the hundreds of residents who went to the Calvert Trust Outward Bound Centre in Devon.   The oldest, frailest and most disabled elderly people were able to conquer their fears and achieve great things.  It was an inspiring experience.

Even more scary were the residents who met the ‘Animal Man’ and went walking with wolves, or had the opportunity to hold a tarantula, wrap a boa constrictor snake around themselves or fly a bird of prey.  Not to mention those ten brave souls who helped sail a tall ship across the English Channel, or the 93 year old who looped the loop in a glider.

One event that some residents dreamt up for themselves was to go swimming with sharks at a Sea Centre on Merseyside.  It is one of the few things I did not choose to join in.

The risks were all fully assessed in advance, and there was the support of professional coaching staff as well as the constant encouragement and reassurance of the ExtraCare Team.

The residents survived these challenges with renewed self-confidence and regained self-esteem.

At Southern Cross, they too are, in a much less supportive way, also giving their 31,000 elderly residents the experience of swimming with sharks, but this time there are only hollow reassurances about safety and security.  The senior management and directors have been taking risks with residents’ lives for a long time.  Now the residents must be in a situation of constant worry and concern about their future, given the perilous conditions caused by Southern Cross.

In the midst of this financial melt down, the Southern Cross management team even have the temerity to launch a document referred to as a “National Care Strategy which they say they hope will be adopted by everyone.

                                                            What an insensitive sick joke!

It says to me this management team has no compassion and no regard for their residents.                 


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1 Response to “Swimming with Sharks” – Southern Cross 4

  1. david freeman says:

    I am worried in these shark infested waters, not only for the residents of Southern Cross, but my own position as a resident of a retirement village, in which I and my wife have invested our future.
    The Management, financiers, and others who dreamt up the schemes of get rich quickly, I suspect have left the scene? But what remains for those straddled with the promise of a future for life, especially those on a tied or limited income? What of the rest of us in the same boat but different operators, and managers? What can we expect from the future?
    I am scared stiff that the outfall of this debarcle with SOUTHERN CROSS, the landlords and local councils who pay the going rate, may bury their head, and expect the rest of the retirement home owners, operators (industry, which it is?), to pick up the pieces at no extra costs. That is will we all be dragged down to the lowest common denominator, when in fact originally we where offered a choice? That was done realistically, and not with a head in the clouds of the fact that social care services will pay all future bills.
    As a retired and limited income person, and a voter I still am able and still wish to make a choice into how my future may pan out. I do not wish to be put in a basket and declared unwanted and unloved.
    Some one some where with a political noiuse has to if possible come to the rescue of Southern Cross, with a realistic solution, and not a bankers package where the investers walk free. String them up by the goolies until it hurts, I say.

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