Published Thursday, 14 March 2013
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Violet McConnell was a fun-loving mother of there.
However her daughter, Joanne Milligan, says the family have had to watch helplessly while Alzheimer's robbed the person they knew from them.
"As time went on it became quite pronounced where she would have forgotten people's names and forgotten who they were," she explained.
"When eventually she did go into care as she is now at present, she would be very unaware of who I am as her daughter, and very unaware of her family members."
Home for Violet is now Slievemore Nursing Unit.
Six other dementia sufferers live there too - but their time there is running out.
We certainly are very determined and we have been dug in for some time and we don't intend to give up
Jane Dunton, wife of Alzheimer's suffer
Following the findings of an inspection by the Regulatory Quality and Inspection Authority, the Western Trust say they have no choice but to close the home by the end of May.
Alan Corey-Finn from the trust said: "RQIA have pointed us to certain aspects of the law and told us if we operate as an unregulated service after 31 May we will be subject to potential prosecution so we obviously have to obey the law and that is what we will be doing."
The families of Slievemore's six remaining residents are determined to oppose the closure.
They have become the first group in Northern Ireland to launch a legal challenge again the closure of an NHS facility.
If it doesn't work they'll have to find alternative accommodation for their loved ones in private facilities. They can cost some patients a lot of money.
Joanne Milligan, whose mother has previously been in one, does not want her to return.
She said: "We are giving her more medication to keep her challenging behaviour at bay and this led to her dehydration and malnutrition because she couldn't eat and we found that the neglect that she experienced there was awful."
UTV has seen letters sent by the Trust to the relative of a Slievemore resident.
His degenerative condition has left him totally incapacitated. But the Trust say he's been assessed as medically fit for discharge.
So have most of the other residents, despite the fact many have been sectioned and most have challenging behavioural issues.
The trust denies this has been done to facilitate the closure
Alan Corey-Finn continued: "It was basically on the back of the RQIA visit who said that these people should be in a nursing home not a hospital ward, and that prompted a medical review.
"We do medical reviews from time to time but that's what prompted it all at the one time."
The Slievemore relatives say they are taking this stand, not just for their loved ones, but for others in a similar predicament.
The families are exploring the possibility of legal action. If that happens it could be the first legal challenge against the closure of an NHS facility ever mount in Northern Ireland.
Joanne Milligan continued: "I feel now that what is being done to our six families, and the way that we are being asked to leave the Health Service and move into private care, I feel very strongly that we have an opportunity now to expose the nature of the disease and expose the fact that the NHS wants to wash its hands of dementia care, because of the long-term nature of it and because it is very expensive to provide."