WORLD Alzheimer’s Month aims to highlight support for Warwickshire dementia patients and their carers.
Among the services available is Dementia Connect – tailored practical and emotional support and advice for those living with dementia and their loved ones.
Resident Debbie used the service while she helped to care for her father who was diagnosed with dementia.
She said: “My first contact with Dementia Connect was when we reached the stage where both my mum and I were struggling to cope with my dad’s behaviour as the disease progressed. The training I had previously completed didn’t provide me with the knowledge of what to do in those circumstances and we were in need of additional guidance.”
After her initial contact, Debbie and her family were assigned a local dementia advisor who visited their home.
Debbie explained: “Receiving support over that time really helped both mum and dad come to terms with what was facing them. Having the advisor come out was great as we received information in short chunks rather than all in one go. My parents don’t use much technology so having face to face contact was great. Dementia Connect put everything into plain English for my dad and it helped him to understand what was happening.”
The organisation continued to provide the family with lots of information including local support groups, care advice, respite care organisations, behaviour management, guidance on Lasting Power of Attorney and ways to keep her dad, who was often distracted, occupied.
She added: “He used to enjoy a lot of hobbies but as his disease progressed he was unable to concentrate on reading a book or newspaper, so we had an idea of creating a record of his history and include photographs of familiar faces, which I did with my dad.”
Debbie said the team was always on hand for all kinds of enquiries, either over email, the phone, or face to face: “Our dementia advisor got to know us as a family, and they got to know who we were. Because the advisor had been to our house, dad was able to remember the advisor and saw him as an expert, so he was more inclined to listen to him.
“I emailed my advisor on a few occasions, more for moral support. We received excellent support, even follow up calls just to check that we were well and whether we needed anything. They were such a great help to us.”
Warwickshire County Council adult social care and health spokesman Coun Les Caborn added: “The council is proud to support World Alzheimer’s Month. We have a range of services throughout the county to support not only those living with dementia, but also for their loved ones and for those with a caring responsibility of someone affected by dementia.
“As a carer, it’s important you are fully supported to ensure you can care for your loved one. Throughout covid-19 support continues to be available both online and over the phone. Whether you have specific questions, want to know more about dementia or access support groups, you can do all of this through The Dementia Connect service.”
Visit dementia.warwickshire.gov.uk for information about the range of dementia support services in Warwickshire.