Permanent closure of the Heidehiem dementia department in Emmen. ‘Hopefully the twelve residents can stay together’

The client council nevertheless agrees to the closure of the dementia department of the Heidehiem in Emmen. This means that the twelve residents must leave permanently.

At the end of November, clients and their families heard that the De Olmen department of the Heidehiem residential care center was being closed. According to care group Tangenborgh – which includes Heidehiem – closure is necessary because it costs too much money to keep the department open. On average, only ten to twelve of the eighteen apartments are occupied due to the unpopular location on the fourth floor. The announced closure caused much unrest among residents and their relatives.

Earlier this month, the client council indicated that it did not agree with the closure of the De Olmen department. The members of the council wanted to be more involved in the process and first want more clarity about exactly what problems were happening and whether they really could not be solved.

In a letter to the board dated January 10, the council therefore advised to ‘take a period of rest and use the year 2024 to look for new residents for the apartments’. At the time, the council thought it would be able to reconsider whether or not to agree to the closure in the autumn.

‘More understanding and broader support’

But that postponement will not happen now that the council has approved. “From the feedback from the twelve conversations since January 16 with all contact persons or family members of the ‘Olmen residents’, we understand that there is more understanding and broader support for relocation,” the council gives as a reason for approval in a letter to the council. board of Tangenborgh and the contact persons of the residents.

It is not clear from the letter whether it is now clear to the council what problems were involved. The client council does not wish to explain the letter further.

Moving for summer vacation

The aim is to complete the removals before the summer holidays, according to a letter from the care group to residents and family members. ‘This is because, just like every year, we expect a busy summer again and want to be able to provide good care then too.’

The final closing falls once again harshly on the roof of Leon Albinus from Emmen. His 90-year-old mother, Maria Albinus-Voogd, is one of the twelve residents of De Olmen who have to move to another care center.

“At first I still hoped that there would be a year of rest, because of the recommended break. And then suddenly it’s ‘bam’, done. That feels like a turnaround,” he says. “Now I have my back against the wall. The decision has been made and there is nothing more that can be done.”

‘It doesn’t deserve a beauty prize’

In any case, Albinus has no longer understood the move since the announced closure, as the client council describes in its explanation for approval. “I’m still not happy with how things went. That still doesn’t deserve a beauty prize.” He does not know what other contact persons for residents are doing.

He hopes that his mother can eventually move to De Bleerinck, another residential care center for people with dementia in Emmen. “And it would be nice if the residents could stay together. And that the staff will come along,” he keeps his fingers crossed.

Whether that is possible remains to be seen. In the coming month, care organization Tangenborgh will hold discussions with the family members about their wishes for a new place.