I am writing in response to an article which appeared in the Ealing Gazette on Friday, September 12, 2008.
It is inaccurate in several ways. It misrepresents what is happening at Age Concern Ealing's Acton Day Centre and it has upset and offended the people who regularly use the centre. More seriously, it is likely to put off the many people who would benefit from the services we offer.
What we do provide is a day centre with a structured activities programme, freshly cooked lunch and a warm, cosy place for older people to meet and socialise.
Many of the people using our centre do have serious health problems and some have a disability; they would in no way regard themselves as 'invalids'.
We do carry out an assessment of need for everyone who attends. We have a duty of care to ensure that we do not take on people with problems that we can't deal with.
A positive outcome of the assessments is that we can provide a link to other services to provide the right help for people's problems.
Within our own organisation, we can provide welfare benefits checks which can mean people ending up with more money in their pockets.
We also provide a service where we can check that peoples' homes are safe from tripping hazards and arrange for essential aids and adaptations to be fitted.
We have two busy reception areas providing advice and information on a variety of topics. We liaise closely with GPs, Ealing Social Services and district nurses to ensure that the people who attend our day centres are properly looked after.
At present we are working closely with Ealing Council to relocate the Acton Day Centre to the Michael Flanders Centre. This will mean operating from a purpose built day centre where we can extend the range of services that we provide to older people and their carers.