Keep it in the county
11:41am Thursday 14th March 2013 in Letters
I WOULD like to congratulate the Vale of Glamorgan Council – in particular the Social Services Department – on the closure of Bryneithin Elderly Mentally Infirm Residential Care Home.
Bryneithin was to close yesterday – March 13, 2013.
Closing Bryneithin and throwing away this valuable commodity is absolutely despicable.
EMI beds are very precious; the Vale has the fastest growing older population, many of who will develop some form of dementia. They will have no place to go.
Their loved ones have no respite, despite the fact that they are saving the council millions and for those with early on-set dementia.
Many older people have dementia that is undiagnosed. The Alzheimer’s Society stated last week that regular care homes have 80 per cent of people with some form of dementia in and that they get average care at the best.
This is the 21st century and the council know that many people are waiting for dementia beds. However, the social services department may want this process of bed blocking to go on, people to remain in hospital just so that they do not have to provide specialist homes.
With the new Mental Health Assessment Unit in Llandough many more people will be diagnosed earlier. Then what happens?
They go along to a memory clinic to see how they are degenerating and sent home to be looked after by relatives – until they need a residential bed.
No beds, no respite and god help no residential places for young on-set dementia and there will be very many more in this category, if GPs and the MHA Unit does its job.
Once you have a label ie you are diagnosed with having dementia and you need a specialist bed you have to go into a specialist home. It will create more of a headache as this ticking time-bomb will not disappear.
This provision needs to be in the Vale not out of county, so families are able to visit and be supported throughout this terrible time.
A dementia village with real meaningful activities, with a supportive community where people with dementia can have a good quality of life, but when they need more support they are able to move smoothly through all the various stages.
For this sort of care to happen it would definitely mean a proactive council not a reactive one, which seems to be the problem with the shortage of specialist beds – no pro-activity!
The problem really is that the Vale know all this and yet they have refused to use Bryneithin as a resource for dementia people or to use it as respite to reduce the burden of caring 24/7 to families. It is not closed yet, it is staffed and has been renovated – use it, don’t lose it!
The council created the situation of one person being left and the loss of revenue in a time of austerity – they could still use Bryneithin to house the people languishing in hospital with any form of dementia, losing their independence, becoming institutionalised. A joint venture with the Health board or the Mental Health Assessment Unit or Bryneithin could be put up for tender or run it in partnership like Ty Dyfan, but no. The council have decided to throw this precious commodity away, can you at least be open and transparent regarding these two unanswered questions: What is the Vales’ policy for the Elderly Mentally Infirm?
What are you going to use Bryneithin for once it is closed?
I along with every tax payer in the Vale have a right to know.
Margo Farbrace – Friends of Bryneithin