Praise for pilot scheme that helps stressed carers

Praise for pilot scheme that helps stressed carers

Katherine Denham

Praise for pilot scheme that helps stressed carers

Carers have commended a 12-week pilot course which helps them cope with the stress of looking after relatives who have dementia.

The Windsor and Maidenhead Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has introduced the scheme to reduce the risk of carers becoming physically and mentally unwell themselves.

Every Wednesday about 10 carers meet at the United Reformed Church in West Street to talk about issues that have occurred with their loved ones.

Janet Stone, 67, attends the sessions because her mother has dementia.

The civil servant from Stoke Poges Lane in Slough said: "It’s very isolating dealing with dementia, but when we share our experiences I realise I’m not the only one.

"Learning to deal with this illness is a whole new world and you definitely need support."

The informal sessions work to interactively engage carers while offering practical advice about methods of dealing with the condition.

Meanwhile relatives with dementia are also looked after at the venue during each 90 minute-long session.

Carol Tovey’s husband Noel suffers with the disease and has become increasingly aggressive since he was diagnosed in November 2012.

The 73-year-old from Pelling Hill in Old Windsor said: "Today my husband didn’t even recognise me when I was standing right in front of him.

"He even hit me once which was scary, so talking together helps me understand why he did that.

"We also come up with ways to prevent it happening again."

This is the first of three 12-week pilot courses funded by a £15,000 grant from the CCG and run by Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust and Alzheimers Disease Support (ADS).

Consultant clinical physiologist Dr Chris Allen runs the sessions and hopes the positive feedback from the pilot course will encourage CCG to continue holding support groups.

Dr Allen said: "I think people learn from each other and the advice can have more credibility coming from someone who is in the same position."

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