Following on from last night’s post this morning I was lucky enough to join a local hub for people living with Dementia and their carers. It was a small group and I was pleased to see a few faces that I knew from our village. One I hadn’t seen around for a while and the reason became clear quite quickly. The group lady leader was kind, patience and understanding and has been running this group and others in the Herts area for some time and it was obvious from what I saw today the people attending are enjoying the facility and finding great benefit.
Talking openly with a few of the partners/carers it was obvious that the knowledge and empathy that I have gained these past four years was spot on. These amazing people carry a huge challenge and often try to spare their friends and family by taken everything on themselves.
They all agreed how having time for themselves is crucial though in short supply and they kindly shared how when they are away they feel, at times, either guilty or anxious for leaving their husband or wife. Its finding somebody that you feel able to trust to leave in your home alone with your loved one and anybody that is a stranger really does need time to get to know the person with Dementia before one can safely leave the house. As always references and checks must be taken and having somebody first aid trained may be useful but for those with particular medical issues proper trained staff must be sort -though the latter are unlikely to be activity driven.
What was also quite obvious is how families living with Dementia fall off the social calendar with others and as I said last night try to make the effort to give some time and relief believe me they need it. People with Dementia often become withdrawn and depressed and want to feel useful and included not forgotten.