I am writing in response to the letter published on Thursday, February 7, concerning the closure of Alzheimer’s Society’s Day Support Service in Sunderland.
We understand and appreciate completely the depth of feeling expressed by those who access this valued service.
We always do our utmost to avoid closures so this is not a decision we have taken lightly.
However, we have a duty as a charity to make the best use of the funds available to us and, for a number of years now, we have been heavily subsidising this service.
Whilst we appreciate the difficulties faced by cash-strapped local authorities, it nevertheless remains the case that they have a statutory obligation to ensure there is a local offer to meet people’s eligible needs. That offer does not have to be dementia-specific, it does have to be appropriate.
It is also important to acknowledge the wider context of the national crisis in social care.
The majority of people with dementia have their needs met through social care, yet the local government funding gap is growing each year and Alzheimer’s Society is unable to continue to bridge this gap with charitable income.
Head of Region