Shouldn’t we be hanging our heads in shame – as we witness the closure of Surrey’s Alzheimer’s Centres?

What a Bloody disgrace – that lack of funds is   prompting the closure of  Surrey’s four  Alzheimer’s Centres, including  Waverley’s.

The  very centres which  help to make life bearable for  Alzheimer sufferers are to set to close putting  even more strain on  carers and their families.

 And then they wonder why people  are piling into A & E  departments. By withdrawing funding from this vital service aren’t councillors failing to recognise the need to keep the sick and elderly in their own homes as long as is humanly possible.

There are 850,ooo Alzheimer sufferers in the UK and that figure is expected to double by 2050. Alzheimer’s is now responsible for one in nine recorded deaths and has overtaken heart disease  as the UK’s  leading cause of death.

So why – oh why is  Haslemere’s  ( Marjorie Gray Centre ) which has been at the heart of Waverley’s Alzheimer’s Service for many years and which has proved to be  a lifeline for so many – shutting its doors in March? And… didn’t Surrey County Council raise its council tax last year by 2% bringing in £11.8m for adult social care? 

Sufferers and their families said they were  completely  “bamjacked” by the shock announcement with John Barlow’s wife Margaret saying,  “This decision will end his world.” 

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“If we  make cuts to old people’s services hopefully there won’t be any old people?”

Cuts in local government funding and cuts in funding for the Hoppa Bus have made the Centre unviable for the local branch of the Society which operates  5 days a week, Monday – Friday 8am – 6pm, in the Grayswood Road together with services provided by its outreach  team, across the Waverley area. The hall in Haslemere  was built by public subscription and the Society has worked tirelessly there to ensure sufferers and their carers get the respite  they so desperately need and rely on. Other Centre’s in Dorking, Woking and elsewhere in Surrey have, or will, close.

Two years ago The Alzheimers’ Society  opened an outreach centre over in the East of the borough to prevent   clients  travelling over an hour to Haslemere. But when the old people attending Cranleigh’s Day Centre received “Your Waverley’s” backing for their bid to stop  “their” centre being used or shared  one day a week by Alzheimer’s sufferers  the outreach closed and  moved back to Haslemere. 

One Ewhurst carer  told the WW that  she, and many others,  were “absolutely horrified” at the stigma attached by one group of older people, to another, saying she  sincerely hoped that Cranleigh Day Centre clients who complained, wouldn’t need the service themselves  one day?

“Alzheimer’s in no respecter of person – ask Margaret Thatcher’s family.”

After Waverley Council Officer ( Damien Roberts – aka “The Omen”) backed the Cranleigh objectors’  the service returned to Haslemere. This resulted in the reinstatement of  the lengthy daily journey across the borough resulting in a  predictable drop off of  clients-  now it too is closing. It is alleged that this same officer, aided and abetted by Elstead’s “Elsie” was responsible for the closure of Age Concern – which was set up by “Your Waverley” with “Your Money” to help the elderly  for more than 30 years. 

And.. “Your Surrey CC” has closed six older people’s care homes – some of which focused their care on Dementia patients.

All this whilst at the same time Surrey County Council proposes holding a Referendum to seek  a 16% increase in our county council tax and “Your Waverly”proposes another hike on top of last year’s 2% rise! ….

What for… to buy even more properties in the West Country,  invest in more redevelopments like Farnham’s East Street, or maintain their gold plated final salary pensions?  

And Didn’t Councillor David Hodge – the Leader of Surrey County Council get a gong for services to Local government and charities? Here’s what one Surrey Ad reader thinks of that!

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Isn’t it time someone, somewhere, started to get their priorities in order? Because the fact is that nobody is getting the level of support and care they need. Once block contract funding supported these vital services. 

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