Dementia Friends: The importance of information sessions

Dementia Friends Champion Helen Morris offers some thoughts on attending information sessions

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Dementia Friends Champion: Helen Morris

My appeal this month is to people who suddenly find themselves caring for a partner with dementia.

I am receiving phone calls and being approached after sessions by relatives and friends who are desperately concerned about these new carers who are unwilling to access information sessions.

I suspect we are talking about a generation who lived through wars and the emergence of the welfare state and pride themselves on managing on their own without outside assistance.

Independence and determination are always to be admired but many times people suddenly find themselves thrust into caring roles when they are themselves both elderly and managing their own health.

They experience the sadness of disrupted cherished plans for a peaceful old age and life with a spouse or partner who previously needed nothing more than a good relationship. Now both are struggling with a condition they do not understand and the challenges it presents.

If this describes your situation please consider attending one of the local information sessions in the area, where you can gain knowledge and strategies to create a more peaceful and secure life for both of you. Dementia is a physical ailment like any other and the more you know about it the more you can plan and manage well.

Saddleworth Carers Group meets every other Friday in Uppermill and regularly invite external speakers to talk about specific areas of knowledge you will find helpful. It’s a great social event too. Call for information on 01457 810614.

Home Instead run a regular free half day event designed for relatives who want to know more and how they can help care for a person with a diagnosis. Call for information on 01457 874566.

The Dementia Friendly Uppermill team will be running their first Alzheimer’s Society SHARED programme at Saddleworth Golf Club for six consecutive weeks starting Tuesday, May 19 from 10am-2.30 pm. This free programme is designed for both the person living with dementia and their carers, with lunch provided. Call for information on 0161 962 4788 or email DFCGM@alzheimers.org.uk

I hope people will take the opportunity to share useful strategies and start getting the very best out of a life which features dementia.

And don’t forget Dementia Friends sessions which I am always happy to run for free – just call me on 07976 702171 or email helen@close-communications.com or check or see if I have any public sessions on the website www.dementiafriends.org.uk

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