Four residential homes are to close and a further 10 are under threat following a strategic review by Scotland's largest voluntary sector provider of residential care for older people.
The closure decision by the Church of Scotland Board of Social Responsibility is a result of the shortfall between local authority funding and the actual cost of providing care for residents.
"We have 880 residents in 31 homes," said a board spokesman. "Two-thirds of those places are paid for by local authorities. However, the shortfall between funding and the real cost of care is between £50 and £100 per resident a week."
The board provides social services across Scotland, including residential schools, drug and alcohol rehabilitation and homelessness projects, and has an annual budget of £40 million, funded mainly through local authorities, the Scottish Executive and the Church of Scotland.
See Leonard Cheshire story, p9.