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Day service closure will bring heartache

A WORRIED carer says his dementia-suffering wife will soon be effectively under ‘house arrest’ after Solihull NHS Care Trust decided to close the day service provided by the Alzheimer’s Society at Sunhaven in Solihull Lodge.

A WORRIED carer says his dementia-suffering wife will soon be effectively under ‘house arrest’ after Solihull NHS Care Trust decided to close the day service provided by the Alzheimer’s Society at Sunhaven in Solihull Lodge.

The five-hour Thursday and Friday service provides ‘much-needed respite’ according to Mike Ball who would otherwise have to look after his wife Marion constantly.

One of the changes will see the introduction of a dementia advisor who will help sufferers deal with the condition.

But 67-year-old Mr Ball from Coppice Road is fuming with the decision and says it will be of ‘absolutely no benefit to his family whatsoever’.

“Effectively they are removing care from some of the most vulnerable people in our society,” he said.

“This service is invaluable to any carer especially in an area where there is hardly any alternative.

“The occasional visit from an advisor would be of little help.”

The High Street Alzheimer’s Society’s Branch Manager Robin Felton sadly confirmed the service will close within the next three months but said they are making every effort to make alternative provision.

“It’s sad to see it go but we will be providing more services to people than we currently do.”

Since 65-year-old Marion first started to suffer from dementia 13 years ago her condition has gradually got worse.

Husband John has been taking her to the day centre for four years and also to The Croft Day Centre in Hobs Moat which he says is bursting at the seams.

In July the social activities which he manages to fit in when his wife is being cared for will have to stop because there will no service available.

A spokesman for Solihull NHS Care Trust said they are trying to improve dementia care services and have already increased their investement with Alzheimer’s Society by £50,000.

“The existing day services are used by a small number of clients and the Care Trust and Alzheimer’s Society are looking at the viability of other ways in which we can provide care that will bring greater benefit to everyone in Solihull with dementia.”

 

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