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Day Support at the Bradbury Centre has been closed now for 4 months. What Covid19 has clearly highlighted, however, is the importance of Day Support for those not only with a diagnosis of dementia, but also for families and carers.

Dementia Matters have stayed in touch via our Welfare Contact Scheme, with 1200 families during the pandemic, many of whom formerly used Day Support. We have listened first hand to families and carers struggling to cope with having somebody with dementia at home with little, or in some cases, no respite whatsoever.

Typically, carers are experiencing elevated stress levels resulting in anxiety or even depression. Some express anger, resentment and other negative emotions that are detrimental to relationships and ones own mental health. In addition to this, the person with dementia may well be missing the social interaction, fun and therapeutic activities, a break from the home environment, and a safe warm environment, with nutritious food.

Many carers are older people and there is no question that one’s ability to cope in stressful situations diminishes over time. Subsequently, we have been asked regularly, and particularly in the last two months “when is Bradbury reopening”? Service users and their families are desperate to get back to Day Support, where they are safe and well looked after, whilst also providing that vital respite for families.

Day Support offers so much more than “just a place to go and sit”. It directly tackles issues around isolation and loneliness; allows reablement activities, such as food preparation, knitting, painting and so on, exercise classes for all abilities, and a garden for those with green fingers.

With the incidence of Covid19 generally in decline, we are now able to look to reopen Bradbury Day Support in early August. All of the staff teams at Dementia Matters are eager to welcome back our Day Support friends, and carers and families should be reassured that whilst we are the first Day Support Service in the North East to be reopening, we have discussed all of our risk assessments and plans with our Council colleagues, PHE, and other service providers. Dementia Matters is ready!

Fraser Quin CEO

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