Care home branded 22-stone gran a ‘fire hazard’ and rejected her, claim family

The daughter of a 22-stone grandmother claims she was refused a place in a care home due to her size.

Chaanah Lynas labelled Woodlands Nursing Home’s decision to refuse her disabled mum Susan Lynas a place as “discrimination”, alleging the 75-year-old was deemed a “fire hazard”.

However, a senior manager of the firm which runs the home in Livingston, West Lothian, said the refusal was actually based on the perspective patient’s “complex needs”.

Susan requires a wheelchair after breaking her back in two places last year.

The former teaching assistant used to live in sheltered accommodation, but after falling in February last year she was eventually discharged from hospital to an interim care home.

After a difficult 12 months, which has seen her largely bedridden, she is now well enough to find a permanent place to live.

Her daughter, Chaanah Lynas, said she’s “so angry” at the home’s decision, and has filed an official complaint with the care home and The Care Inspectorate.

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Susan Lynas with daughter Chaanah Lynas
Susan Lynas with daughter Chaanah Lynas

She has also contacted her local MP and Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

The mum-of-two, 33, said: “The care home have never met or even seen mum, they have looked at her weight on a file and rejected her.

“Essentially they are telling my mum [she] is too fat to live in the care home.

“They rang me and told me the care home’s chairs and doorways aren’t wide enough for people of her size.

Susan Lynas with grandson Harry Lynas
Susan with grandson Harry Lynas

“They called her a fire hazard. It’s ridiculous,” she continued.

“Mum uses a regular wheelchair, not a bariatric one which is for people over a certain weight.

“She doesn’t need a specialist bed or chair so she would be able to fit through these doorways.”

Chaanah said her mum has gained weight over the last year during her recovery, and “even survived Covid”.

Susan Lynas with granddaughter Alexis Lynas
Susan with granddaughter Alexis Lynas

Pandemic restrictions have meant Susan couldn’t have physiotherapy but her daughter insists she only needs “light assistance” and her “mind is very sharp”.

Chaanah said she’s phoned and emailed the care home to dispute their reasoning but claims she hasn’t had a reply.

“She shouldn’t be shunned away, it’s disgusting, really ridiculous,” she added.

Chaanah – who is a full time carer for her disabled son – is now hoping a nearby care home will accommodate her mum.

Thomas Norton, senior manager at Peacock Medicare Limited who run Woodlands Care Home said: “My investigation into the matter showed that at no time was there any discrimination shown to the prospective resident.

“The pre-admission assessment took place over the telephone with the person’s present care establishment using paperwork provided by the referring officer.

“This has been our practice since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The pre-admission assessment highlighted that the person had complex care needs and, at this time, we could not offer a place due to these.

“The decision was person centred as we strive to deliver quality care using this approach to all our residents. We would find difficult to meet this person’s needs in a person centred manner.”

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