Closing Willesden dementia centre will harm residents, granddaughter warns

Knowles House dementia home could close at the end of the summer

Plans to close a dementia centre risks setting back the recovery of the elderly patients housed their, the granddaughter of a patient has warned.

Lorna Bevan says her family has been left in shock after Brent Council announced proposals to close Knowles House dementia home in Longstone Avenue, Willesden.

Her grandmother Beryl Bevan, 94, developed dementia in her early 80’s, and moved into Knowles House, where she receives round the clock care, seven years ago.

Her family credits the attention she has received there with stabilising her condition, which has not notably deteriorated over the past seven years.

Lorna said: “For a relative it is really scary to think about how the closure will affect her – the confusion of not seeing the same faces the same day.

“I think it would be very confusing for her. Although she doesn’t really know where she is a lot of the time, she recognises faces and has become familiar with her surroundings, and loves the staff.

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“We can tell that she is comfortable there. Moving will throw her, and all of them.”

Dementia is a brain condition which causes memory loss, confusion and agitation among sufferers.

Medical experts agree that it is important for sufferers to build up a familiarity with their surroundings and the people they come into contact with, if their condition is not to deteriorate.

However, for Beryl and the other 23 residents living at Knowles House, it looks as if change is inevitable.

Relatives were told two weeks ago that the centre will close because of council fears that the building, which has suffered from many years of under investment, would not meet new government standards.

But Lorna said she would like to see the council compromise and agree to continue operating the centre – at least for life spans of its current patients

Alison Elliott, interim director of adult social care at Brent Council, said: “We know that people value the facilities at Knowles House but the building falls well below modern standards.

“If the site is closed, vulnerable adults will continue to receive services provided in a different way.”