"The closure of Red Cross Options for Independence Unit"

About: Options for Independence (Care Home)

(as a service user),

Four weeks before Christmas 2015, myself and all other service user at staff at Red Cross Options for Independence were informed that the transitional residential unit was to close and now the closure date is imminent as it is 15th April 2016. However we have recently been advised that services users have to leave by the 4th April 2016.

Options for independence has 36 fully accessible properties but with its closure all service users need to be found suitable alternatives. in my case no suitable core and cluster housing that best suits my needs has been found to date. There has been a repeated suggestion for me to move back with my elderly father to a rural town where I would lose all my independence. This is not suitable for me or my father who as an individual has a life to lead in his own right. There has also been suggestion of a nursing home which is equally inappropriate.

I feel I am being discriminated against due to my disability which until now I have managed successfully achieving my PhD, securing employment and starting my own business supporting others with disabilities and those involved in their daily support. All of my achievements and future aspirations could be at risk if the wrong decision is made in terms of housing.

As well as impacting on service users who stay within Options for independence on a longer term basis, this is also impacting on families across Scotland who use and rely on the respite service

The closure of Options for Independence has highlighted the lack of fully accessible houses and the fact that it should be being addressed as a national issues as opposed to a local authority issue. This was recently highlighted in a recent BBC Scotland report which spoke about the high number of disabled young people who have been placed in care homes

I have contacted the Care Inspectorate for advice as well as local councillor, MSP and Citizens Advice Bureau

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