"Dementia Care in South London"

About: King's College Hospital (Denmark Hill) Queen Elizabeth Hospital (Greater London) Southwark / Southwark Social Services St Christophers Hospice

(as a carer),

My feedback is about my experiences from 3 -4 years ago looking after my wife before she died and then following that becoming more involved in Carers Groups and as a volunteer.

My wife was attending the memory clinic at Lewisham for quite a time which felt like a lifeline. When she deteriorated however, our service and appointments were stopped. This felt quite abrupt and although we only attended every six months, it did feel like we were abandoned. My wife’s medication was also stopped suddenly and I did not feel like it was properly explained to me.

We had a lovely OT from Social Services called Maisie who came out to advise us about handling and managing at home

She started to then have seizures and had to go in Kings Hospital at Denmark hill where the care was brilliant despite it all being very difficult. Sadly she got worse and went into St Christophers Hospice where the care was again brilliant from start to finish. The way they assessed and managed my wife was exemplary and also involved myself as carer.

I must also say how much being part of a carers groups helped me, so a big thank you to the Carers in Lewisham group. Since then I have stayed involved in carers groups as a volunteer and as a lay visitor to services

In my opinion, funding cuts have affected services. For example they used to give all carers 12 hours a month respite care. This was managed by a respite manager, but now everything is more tightly controlled and it has to go through Social Services. I have noticed also that funding to provide an IT course has been cut.

On the positive side, it’s a good thing that more organisations are much better connected than before. I do some work at the Southwark Park Yalding Centre run by Age UK which is a great place offering a valuable place for people in the community to go and be with people. There is something different happening every day there.

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