Anger as care home ‘didn’t know Alzheimers gran was missing’

Mary's 'husband  Jimmy, and grandaughter Gail. Picture: George McLuskie
Mary's 'husband Jimmy, and grandaughter Gail. Picture: George McLuskie

Relatives of a vulnerable Fife pensioner who went missing at a Kinghorn care home have hit out at the lack of security, and are accusing the facility of covering up just how long she was out in the open.

Gail Otway said her gran Mary, who suffers from alzheimers and is unsteady on her feet, walked out of Villa Atina on Saturday after a staff member disabled the alarm for a cigarette break.

But Gail said it appeared that the care home didn’t even know that Mary had gone missing, even though she was found around a mile away.

“We were just furious. I was angry when I heard she’d gone missing, but I was so worried about her, anything could have happened, she said.

“She didn’t even have a coat on, just a cardigan.

“She’s supposed to be safe there, and she pays a lot of money for that place.

A family friend spotted Mary at a bus stop near Croft An Righ and walked her to Gail’s mum on the High Street, who called the care home to say she had been found at 5.45pm.

However, Gail said that staff at Villa Atina seemed surprised to hear that her gran had even gone missing.

“They had no idea,” she said.

“They were shocked to hear it.”

The time frame later given to Gail by the care home raises further questions.

The firm, based at Ross Place, insists the 75-year-old only went missing at 5.05pm and that the call from Gail’s mum came at 5.25pm.

That means the vulnerable pensioner would have to have walked almost a mile and a half in just 20 minutes.

Gail added: “The care home said that she had been missing for around 20 minutes, but that doesn’t add up.

“She must have gone out much earlier than they say, as it would have taken me to walk that far in that time.

“For her to walk that far with her mobility problems would take much longer.

“Their timings are all wrong.

“I’m going to report this to the care inspectorate and get my gran moved somewhere safe as soon as possible.”

Villa Atina were contacted by the Press, however the firm refused to comment on the matter, and would not say what measures will be taken to prevent similar incidents in future.