Dementia and Alzheimer’s Day centre in Mitcham to become hub
A day centre specialising in caring for people with dementia and Alzheimer’s is set to become a hub.
The Cumberland Day Centre in Mitcham has been used as a respite care service by charity Merton Mind since 1996, offering hot meals, rehabilitation and support for both sufferers and also their carers.
But from April it will be transformed into "The Merton Dementia Hub" and taken over by The Alzheimer’s Society.
The new centre will provide support sessions, information, counselling and advice as well as workshops for carers, a "dementia café" and "singing for the brain sessions" but the change has sparked concern among users.
Shas Sheehan, said: "I know a man who received help from the Cumberland Day Centre which allowed him to continue to work and relax because his mother was being well looked after, which he said was invaluable.
"So much so that when he did retire he gave them 10 years as a volunteer working in the gardens.
"He is utterly shocked by what is being proposed."
She added: "To close the only centre in Merton that offers specialised facilities for people with dementia and Alzheimer’s in that way - I cannot believe it.
"I want to make sure that the building goes back to use as a day centre."
Merton Council said the changes were made after consulting with residents and users who said a dementia hub was what they wanted.
Councillor Linda Kirby, cabinet member for adult social care, said: "We haven’t removed any of the money from mental health funding.
"What we did was reconfigure our services around the needs of our users and carers.
"The hub at the Cumberland will give information but I suspect over time it will develop into whatever service users want it to be, but it won’t be a day centre.
"We are dealing with a client group and users to which any change is a nightmare but we have to think about how we can maximise value for money, what do people want and what can we provide."
Alternative day centres include the Woodlands day centre, in Colliers Wood and the Eastway Day Centre in Morden.