Stowford Lodge

SIR - I fully concur with the letter from Peter Atkinson in the Opinion Page of the Sidmouth Herald, (February 11 2011) regarding the future of Stowford Lodge. I also have great sympathy with the person who wrote under the heading “Alzheimer plight” on page 12.

I would like to know how many other cases exist in the Sid Valley of families, or, in many situations, just a partner, who may themselves have health problems, struggling to care for a husband or wife suffering from Dementia, Alzheimer’s or other forms of memory loss. Other members of the family may be many miles away and not able to assist.

The carer needs some form of respite to be able to cope. The spokesman for Devon Partnership Trust states that Stowford Lodge is the building, not the service. But the building was designed for the service, so why close it down when an alternative is not available in the immediate locality. Care in the community may be fine, but the carer needs respite more than the short time morning and early evening when someone calls to assist. As everyone is aware, Sidmouth has a high proportion of residents over the age of 80 and a good number have potential memory loss. What happens to the single person living on their own?

Thanks to initiatives by the Sid Valley Rotary Club their MEMORY CAF� is held at Twyford House on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month, from 2.30 to 4.30pm, when people with early stages of Dementia can meet for entertainment and advice.

The Locality Health & Care Team have been discussing for some time the local provision of information for people with Dementia, Alzheimer’s etc and promoted an event entitled “What’s on your Mind” at the Methodist Church Hall last October. A number of organisations took stands to provide information and advice. A similar event is to take place on Tuesday, March 15th from 10 am to 12.30pm at the same venue, when organisations will provide stands and speakers will give presentations and answer questions.

Will the commissions, Devon County Council’s Adult and Community Services team, who, I understand, currently provide the Social Care at the Day Centre at Stowford Lodge, please step forward and provide the answer to where and how this excellent facility will be provided in the future, or will Stowford Lodge be saved for the benefit of the residents of Sidmouth and the surrounding area?.

Ian Skinner

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1 Hamilton Close, Sidford.