‘Cruelty’ to carers

SIR - As the wife and carer of a dementia sufferer who attends Stowford Lodge once a week, I feel I must add my comments regarding the possible/probable closure of this facility.

Over a period of 12 years, I have watched my husband change from an active, fun-loving, caring person, to a frightened, confused man, struggling to communicate and comprehend what is happening to him. Like many other sufferers, he can present a more ‘normal’ front to strangers, but who knows what goes on behind closed doors. To care for someone with dementia is both physically and emotionally demanding.

My husband’s weekly attendance at Stowford allows me to do something ‘normal’ – go shopping, meet a friend, even read a book uninterrupted – without having to worry about whether he has fallen or come to harm. To take this facility away from us is nothing short of cruel. It may also mean that more carers will themselves become ill, thereby requiring more help and, in some cases, more expense to the state.

There was outcry when Stowford was closed for refurbishment, having been a most successful day and week respite facility and reopened for day care only. Stowford is a great facility, don’t close it, restore it to its original use. With so many dementia sufferers in the valley, how we could do with such a facility now.

Come on, you cancer supporters – rise up and become a dementia supporter as well. Lend us your voice!

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