Social care cuts ‘devastating’ warns Eastbourne day centre founder

Jane Lowe, founder of Eastbourne's Ivy House (photo submitted).

Jane Lowe, founder of Eastbourne's Ivy House (photo submitted).

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‘Devastating’ cuts to adult social care including support for dementia sufferers have been labelled ‘disgraceful’ by one Eastbourne health professional.

Jane Lowe, who founded Ivy House based in Hartfield Road back in 2010, described their day care services as an ‘essential lifeline’ for all her clients and their families.

Speaking to the Herald in the same week that East Sussex County Council unveiled its draft budget for next year, she labelled the current approach and funding for adult social care ‘disgraceful’.

Jane said: “The cuts will be devastating, absolutely devastating. I have spent the last seven years fighting for funding for my clients who are not up to the challenge of adult social care.”

She added: “It simply does not work, there’s no follow up. People are getting lost in the system or discharged from the system and left out in the cold.”

Ivy House aims to improve the quality of life and independence of Eastbourne residents with dementia and their families or carers by offering day care, drop-in sessions, supper clubs, and support groups.

As a dementia consultant Jane had been frustrated by the common approach to dementia support she characterised by a horseshoe of chairs around a TV.

She said: “Many do not want to go into a care environment and there needs to be something in between.”

She then set up Ivy House to offer a personal approach to dementia that was ‘not about putting people in pens’, but encouraging visitors to take up activities or things they have always done to boost their confidence, give them independence, and help them feel useful and purposeful.

She explained that after being diagnosed by a GP and referred to adult social care some residents were having to wait between eight or 16 weeks for support, and described this as a ‘long time for people who need help now’.

This was why among other things, she has been pushing for a single phone line dedicated for dementia advice and support.

Jane added: “This is a much bigger problem than they can imagine and they keep sweeping it under the rug. I feel very angry and passionate about not leaving people out in the cold. I think it’s disgraceful.”

The Ivy House founder gives awareness talks on the condition with the aim of correcting misconceptions.

She explained: “You can’t help with dementia if you are not willing to know them or respect them.

“It’s about going into their world and saying come into ours.

“We are logical and they are not so we are the guiding lights.”

For more information visit www.ivyhouse-dementiacare.com or call 01323 431801.

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