Girl's plea for granddad's care

AN 11-year-old girl has today issued an impassioned plea to council bosses who want to axe the day centre her granddad uses.Megan Nelli's granddad William Sage, who suffers from Alzheimer's, has been a regular user of the Queen's Road centre in Felixstowe and she is worried about the extra pressure that will be placed on her grandma if it closes.

AN 11-year-old girl has today issued an impassioned plea to council bosses who want to axe the day centre her granddad uses.

Megan Nelli's granddad William Sage, who suffers from Alzheimer's, has been a regular user of the Queen's Road centre in Felixstowe and she is worried about the extra pressure that will be placed on her grandma if it closes.

She said: “It means my grandma would have to look after him for an extra two days and it is hard work for her.

“Granddad has lost his speech and needs everything done for him.


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“When he goes to the centre it gives grandma a break.”

The letter has been sent to Graham Gatehouse, Suffolk County Council's director of social care.

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Mr Sage, 72, lives in Lynwood Avenue, Felixstowe, with his wife Pamela and was diagnosed with Alzheimer's four years ago.

Mrs Sage, 71, said: “I had no idea Megan planned to write the letter and I was very touched when I read it.

“She comes to see her granddad and help out every week and she sees the difficulties I have.

“It's lovely to think that someone so young cares enough to write.”

Mrs Sage said the days that her husband spends at the centre mean the world to both of them.

She said: “It gives me a break and gives me the chance to go out and do the things that I enjoy. I am a keen bowls player so that's what I do with the time.

“It's a nice social event and it's nice to go out and chat to people because there is no conversation between William and myself as he has lost his speech. There's the occasional yes or no but that's the extent of it.

“I think he enjoys going there too as it's a nice change of scenery. When I went to pick him up the other day they said they had managed to get him up on the floor dancing.

“It's terrible that they are thinking about taking these services away from people. I know there are hundreds of people like me out there who will be affected by this.”

Are you affected by the proposed changes to day care services? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk>

Suffolk County Council is currently consulting with the users of 14 day care centres across Suffolk about how they want to operate them in the future.

The council's budget pressures mean they need to find huge savings and they believe that day care could be better provided by independent providers.

The proposed changes would mean the county council was still responsible for providing day care for those that need it, but it may be provided in different places or through a different organisation.

Up to 156 staff could be affected by the changes.

The council will still be obliged to ensure that everyone who is eligible for day care receives the best quality service.

No changes will be made to centres before alternatives are put in place.

Dear whom it may concern,

I am writing in connection with the possible closure of the Queen's Road Day Centre. My granddad (William Sage) sadly suffers from the disease of Alzheimer's, which he has had for four long years. My grandma cares for my granddad 24 hours a day and she is fortunate to have the care of the centre two days a week. This then gives her time on her own to enjoy her social life.

By the centre closing, she will no longer have the help she has at the moment. Granddad has lost speech and needs everything done for him. She worked out that she is caring for him 160 hours a week, maybe a bit more! He is going in to the Sidegate Lane Centre for a week whilst grandma goes and enjoys herself with her friend on a holiday also to have a much deserved break. Most people don't know how hard it is for my grandma because granddad can be a huge struggle at times.

She had to fight for two days a week at the centre due to thoughts of cutting granddad down to only one day. Where will all the other people that attend the Day Centre go?

Please, please, please could you help to save the Queen's Road Day Centre for my grandma's sake? It will be very much appreciated. It would be very nice if you wrote back and gave me your thoughts and views.

Yours sincerely,

Megan Nelli

(Granddaughter to a granddad with Alzheimer's) (Age 11)

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