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Coping with dementia

Dementia support group members Arthur and Sandra

Published on 23 December 2019 02:59 PM

If you, a friend or a loved one are struggling with dementia, help is available. Age UK Shropshire Telford & Wrekin run dementia services across the county to support people with dementia and their carers.

Sandra and Arthur (pictured above) have been attending our Dawley dementia support group for just over a year. Sandra, 81, only recently retired from her job on the checkout at a supermarket, and Arthur, 85, was a gardener until two years ago.

Arthur developed dementia at the age of 80 and Sandra finds the support at the group a real help: ‘We’ve both really enjoyed getting to know people. It’s good for Arthur to get out and about. You find the same people will come along each time. You make friends and feel relaxed and in good company after two or three visits.’

Sandra knows it can be hard for people to open up about a loved one developing dementia and adds: ‘We need to talk more about dementia and Alzheimer’s because it’s quite an invisible illness. If you look around the room at this support group, you can’t actually tell who has dementia and who hasn’t.’

Pam Bridger, who works in admin support at Age UK Shropshire Telford & Wrekin, volunteers at the group and ran a recent craft session for them. She says: ‘I enjoy meeting people and doing crafts with them; you find that people with dementia or memory difficulties really enjoy the process. It’s very absorbing and you have something to show at the end of every session.’

Gina Shirley, one of our Day Services Support Officers, helps to plan and facilitate activities for the group. She says: ‘The aim across all our dementia support services is to provide high quality activities by trained providers in a relaxed and friendly setting. We put on a range of activities for people to join in, helping people feel supported and welcome, and are happy to help you and your family if you feel you may need us. We have room for more people to benefit from our services, so if you know anyone who is struggling do get in touch.’

If you’d like to find out more about our dementia support services call us on 01743 233 123 or email