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Lea, an unpaid carer set to benefit from Csre for the Carers' new support groups (photo: Care for the Carers).

Lea, an unpaid carer for her mother who is set to benefit from Care for the Carers’ new support groups (photo: Care for the Carers/Dan Bridge).

Catering for dementia sufferers and their carers

In a new initiative Care for the Carers is launching support groups for unpaid carers of people with dementia. The groups will be based in three East Sussex towns, including Bexhill. Meanwhile Music for the Memory has released dates for the forthcoming meetings of its Battle singing group for dementia sufferers. Nick Terdre reports.

Support groups for unpaid carers of dementia sufferers are being started in August by Care for the Carers charity. The Making Memories groups will be held monthly in Bexhill, Hailsham and Seaford.

The groups, which will each be facilitated by a carer support worker from the charity, will offer a chance for carers to meet and chat with other carers of people with dementia over a coffee.

Importantly, carers are invited to attend with the person they care for. “We know that for many carers looking after someone living with dementia, they are unable to attend our other carers groups because they cannot leave the person they care for alone,” says Jo Egan, director of services at Care for the Carers.

“We hope that these groups will overcome that barrier by providing a social opportunity that both the carers and the people they care for can enjoy.”

Inclusive and safe space

It will be up to the carers to decide what activities their group should undertake, but they are likely to include things like quizzes, music, and reminiscence sessions, the charity says. “The idea is for carers and people living with dementia to have an inclusive and safe space to come together, relax, and socialise in friendly company,” says Jo.

“We’ve created these particular dementia-friendly sessions for carers to help fill a gap in provision for carers in the areas in which the sessions will take place.”

Starting on 15 August, the Bexhill group will meet on the third Wednesday of each month, at St Michaels and All Angels Community Hall, Glassenbury Drive, Bexhill on Sea, TN40 2NY. Details of the groups in Hailsham and Seaford can be found on the charity’s website.

Carers are asked to be responsible for the person they care for and any toileting needs they may have. They will need to stay for the session and not leave the person they care for during the session. The cared-for person should be settled and able to engage, the charity says. The group is not suitable for persons at a more advanced stage of dementia who may become agitated or restless.

Battle singing group

Meanwhile, Music for the Memory has released dates when its Battle singing group for dementia sufferers will be meeting. The next takes place on Monday 6 August, from 10am to 12.15pm, at the Emmanuel Centre, Harrier Lane, Battle TN33 0FL.

There will be two meetings a month up till November, and one in December. Further details on the charity’s website.

The singing service is free for all persons with any form of mild to moderate dementia and their carers, the charity says. Singing stimulates brain activity and Music for the Memory enables people to express themselves, feel positive and make new friends.

Led by a trained music therapist, the group sings well-known songs from films, musicals and the charts. It’s not necessary to be able to read music or sing in tune.

Music for the Memory's Battle singing group (photo: Music for the Memory).

The Battle singing group (photo: Music for the Memory).

Posted 18:05 Friday, Jul 27, 2018 In: Health Matters

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