Sidmouth care home tries to aid respite crisis

Open invitation to NHS Trust boss to discuss dementia respite care in Sidmouth

AN OPEN invitation comes this week from those running a Sidmouth care home to an NHS Trust chief to sit down together to discuss dementia respite and day care.

Rebecca de Verenne, assistant manager of Bindon Residential Home, Winslade Road, and its office manager Kate Nation, say they can help ease the crisis over lack of respite and day care facilities for some of the 551 people in the town suffering with Altzheimer’s or dementia.

They have invited Iain Tulley, chief executive of the Devon Partnership NHS Trust, which owns the controversial Stowford Lodge, to discuss how the home could offer specialist help for local carers.

Last week he apologised to Sidmouth residents for the lack in communication over proposals to close the centre, and met a barrage of questions over the lack of respite care in the area.

Bindon, which specialises in caring for those with dementia and Altzheimer’s, is not just residential. Several of its 42 beds are used for respite care and currently staff look after two day care “service users”.

This service could be extended, say Kate and Rebecca, if there was a demand.

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“I would suggest open discussions with specialists within dementia and Altzheimer’s care,” said Kate. “We would like to work together with other specialists to try to find a solution.”

She is concerned care providers don’t know the facility is available in Sidmouth.

While a private concern, funding of up to 70 percent of costs is available and carers can get more information through Care Direct.

Rebecca, daughter of owners Signy and Chris de Verenne, who bought Bindon in 1997, said staff were all highly trained and regulated by the Care Quality Commission.

A full-time activities specialist provides therapeutic activities such as arts and crafts, hand massage and ‘ration book’ nostalgic discussions.

Rebecca said: “Dementia makes a person act in a way they did not previously, which family finds difficult to deal with.

“We didn’t know that person before, so there is not the element of frustration over why that person is like this.

“We make sure everyone within the home is comfortable and safe and that all their needs are met and nurtured.”

*The public can see how the home operates at its summer fete on Saturday, July 23.