Day care centres are under attack. They are viewed by some local authorities as an outdated, expensive form of care. But the people who attend our day care in Lewisham and Southwark, and their carers, tell me they love it, they are happier, it improves their quality of life and their carers are able to have a break and / or continue working.
For myself, I know that I subsist on toast and other comfort foods when I eat alone. I also know that I get bored and boring very quickly if I don’t have anything outside the house to talk about.
I’ve heard it said that homecare services provide friendship and company and certainly our own homecare workers try to do this and have very good relationships with their Service Users. But time and cost constraints mean they are in and out of people’s homes in a short space of time with a number of critical tasks to complete in the time allocated.
Even with personalised care, time costs money and social interaction takes time. Having your meal on wheels delivered may be a good checking system to make sure you have not fallen but it is not a substitute for company and conversation.
Local authorities need to recognise the vital role day care centres play in improving quality of life. Loneliness can be a killer too.