People in Newtownabbey who are caring for someone with dementia are being offered the chance to learn more about the
condition and how it affects the individual in a series of courses being run locally by Alzheimer’s Society.
The courses aim to help carers understand more about the condition and its symptoms, including the sort of behaviours that people may display which can at times be challenging.
The Training for Informal Caregivers aims to provide information and support on the topics: What is dementia; Legal and financial matters; Learning to manage stress and coping techniques; Communication skills; Health, self-care and well-being; and, the local services available.
Alzheimer’s Society Dementia Support Worker, Denise Bermingham said: “Relatives of people with dementia often say that it can be really frustrating when someone doesn’t want to change their clothes, have a shower or sleep at night, especially if the person doesn’t accept that there is anything wrong with them.
“Understanding how the person is trying to make sense of the world, and how they feel about the losses they are experiencing, can help relatives to be more patient and cope better.
“This, in turn, helps the person with dementia to be more content,” said Denise.
She added: “During the course carers get the chance to meet other carers.
“They can share their experiences and share their tips on dealing with certain situations.
“Carers appreciate meeting other people and finding out they are not on their own,” said Denise.
A carer who attended one of the workshops recently said: “When I started my caring role I felt overwhelmed by the whole system and the various providers and their roles.
“At times it was very confusing and I was unsure of where to go for support. I now feel more confident about accessing support and more aware of what is available”
Another course attendee said: “It’s helped me understand that I’m not alone in dealing with a family member with dementia and signposted me to other support available”
The next six week course starts on Wednesday, September 13, at Rathcoole Methodist Mission, 35a Rathcoole Drive, Newtownabbey from 7pm – 9 pm.
There are also courses planned in East Antrim for Larne, Antrim and Carrickfergus between now and December 2017.
To find out more and to book a place on the next programme in your local area telephone 028 9038 7480 or e-mail NICaregiver.Training@alzheimers.org.uk