Hopes fade of finding stable home for Luke
It has been two years since the prospect was raised for Luke Caines, prematurely born and severely disabled, to have a life outside of hospital.
Doctors believed that Mr Caines, who is quadriplegic as a result of cerebral palsy, would not even survive, but this October he will turn 56 — in King Edward VII Memorial Hospital, where he remains.
“There is no other facility on the island that can take care of him, except for an old folks' home now that he is getting older — and that's still a problem environment for him,” his sister, Carla Franklin, told The Royal Gazette.
Mr Caines lived in the hospital's continuing care unit after his mother's death when he was 14.
In recent years he has moved to a ward on the fourth floor.
Ms Franklin said the opening of the Summerhaven residential home in the early 1980s had given her hope for a permanent home to take her brother.
However, she said his level of disability was too great for the facility in Smith's to accommodate him.
“If it was for the truly disabled, he would have lived his whole life there,” she said.
“Luke can't look after himself, and if you look up Summerhaven's mandate, it states that it is for independent living, not for dependents. There are a lot of young people right now that have nowhere to go or whose families are struggling with them, and there's nothing really for them.”
In 2014, Mr Caines voiced hope that he would be able to move to Summerhaven, but Ms Franklin said she had seen nothing to show that her brother could be provided with adequate full-time care if he were relocated.
Later this month comes her yearly meeting with her brother's carers in the hospital.
Ms Franklin told The Royal Gazette that she held no hopes that any alternative had been found for him.
A spokeswoman for the Bermuda Hospitals Board stressed that the request two years ago to move to Summerhaven had not been driven by BHB.
“Luke and his family are very much in control of that decision,” she said.
“There are annual care meetings to which Luke's family are formally invited, and in between our staff are always available to discuss care-related issues.
“We are not aware of any questions raised by Luke's family with regards to Luke's current placement. However, we would reassure them Luke will continue to be cared by us for as long as needed.”