'Disappointment' as day care service for South Tyneside residents with dementia set to close

A day care service supporting people with dementia in South Tyneside will close next week, the Alzheimer’s Society has confirmed.

The dementia day support service at Haven Court in South Shields is due to close on February 28, as the Alzheimer’s Society – which runs the service – comes to the end of its contract.

Around 21 residents in the borough use the service, which had to stop meeting face-to-face during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Alzheimer’s Society has said it will continue to offer phone and online services for those affected by the closure, while South Tyneside Council is recruiting an additional dementia support worker for 12 months to support those who previously used the day service.

The dementia day care service was held at Haven Court in South Shields.

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Danielle Cooper, area manager for Alzheimer’s Society, said: “The face-to-face element of the South Tyneside Day Support service has been suspended since March 2020, as result of coronavirus restrictions.

"During this time we’ve been supporting the people who use the service by phone and online.

“As the contract is ending, Alzheimer’s Society will no longer run the Day Support service, which is scheduled to close on February 28, 2021.

“Alzheimer’s Society will continue to offer telephone and online services for the people affected by the closure and we are working with the local authority to find alternative, appropriate support for those people affected by this change.”

The Alzeimer’s Society estimates there are around 2,360 people living with dementia in South Tyneside.

The closure of the service is ‘disappointing’ for Haven Court, but staff have said that they will continue to support residents with dementia.

Elaine Coghill, Deputy Director of Nursing at Haven Court said: “Clearly this is disappointing news and we are committed to working with South Tyneside Council to make sure we continue to provide the very highest quality of care and support to our residents living with dementia and of course to their families and carers.

“We place great value on providing compassionate, dignified and safe, high quality care to those impacted by dementia and this includes tailored support to relatives and carers.

“At Haven Court we provide a range of support activities to our residents who live with dementia and we would like to reassure our residents, families and carers that this will continue as normal.”

South Tyneside Council has also pledged to offer support to residents with dementia.

Councillor Anne Hetherington, Lead Member for Independence and Wellbeing, said: “We appreciate the news that the service is ending will be disappointing for those who relied on it.

“We also recognise that those people affected and their carers will be worried about the future.

“I would like to reassure you that we remain committed to providing support and advice to people living with dementia.

“Furthermore, we have already begun to explore the potential for a new service.

“We will be in touch with those affected by the closure and their families and carers over the next fortnight to discuss any additional support they might need.”

The Alzheimer’s Society local dementia support service is available on 0191 4275443 or by emailing [email protected] for advice."

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