Care home closure
11:38am Thursday 14th March 2013 in Letters
I READ the report in a local newspaper (March 7) about the closure of Bryneithin with a mix of emotions – sadness at the loss of a beautiful building and much-needed dementia service and excitement at the idea of an older person’s village.
I think this is an excellent idea – as long as the village would still concentrate on the care and support for those with dementia.
I would like to add an idea of my own – keep part of the proposed possible village for Younger Onset Dementia sufferers.
At present, there are approximately 150 people in Cardiff and the Vale who have been diagnosed with a form of Younger Onset Dementia, which can happen from 30 years of age, and is classed as YOD when diagnosed before the age of 65.
Many more are presently going through the diagnosis process, so this number will increase.
Care for these people presently comes from Ty Hapus, a newly-formed day care centre in Barry, set up by Justine Pickering MBE, when she realised the need through personal experience, and the new Assessment Unit at Llandough Hospital.
Both of these provide fantastic care for sufferers and their families, and I cannot praise them enough, but we need more! There is no respite or long term care for younger people with this terrible disease except for placement in care homes for older people when available, which is totally inappropriate and does not work.
I am also aware of plans for a seven-bed unit in Barry Hospital specifically for younger dementia patients but, given the size of the area this will cover and the fact that the prevalence of this disease is increasing, I have to ask the question will seven beds be enough?
I think I am right in saying that local authorities have a duty of care – is this doing enough? As the wife of a Younger Onset Dementia sufferer, I don’t want to think of the future but, as a carer, I have to.
I absolutely agree with Margo Farbrace of Friends of Bryneithin when she said it should be developed as a centre of excellence for dementia care, but ask her to please spare a thought for younger sufferers too.
I would be happy for her to contact me through this paper if she would like to discuss this further.
Pat Hopkins Address supplied