18-24 June is Carers’ Week. Does it surprise you that, according to a survey conducted for Carers Week, “two in five unpaid carers are sacrificing their own health by putting off medical treatment to care for an ill, frail or disabled loved one”? It doesn’t surprise me at all – when my Mum-in-law was looking after my father-in-law with dementia, we were as worried about her as we were about him. At one point she sustained a fractured wrist as he, the gentlest of men, lashed out as she was trying to comb his hair. It was two weeks until it was diagnosed and treated because she was unable to leave him…
This week, therefore our “in my shoes” dementia blog focuses on carers and people who support carers. Today Anne Deas tells us about a small team who provide vital support to carers in Warwickshire, from an emotional level right up to benefits advice and practical help with housing issues etc. As well as a help-line, there is a help at home service which has an excellent reputation among social care professionals and carers themselves…
“So tell me a little bit about how things have been for you.” This is usually how I begin my conversation when I return a call from the dementia web helpline. This call gives people time and space to voice their concerns; sometimes they haven’t been able to do this, even with their own family. I make no assumptions, presumptions or judgments, I listen to what is said to me and begin to pick apart some of the main issues. My aim is to put people in touch with relevant local services, give people information about dementia, perhaps the diagnosis process or specific types of dementia, whatever their initial questions are. My aim is to offer options so that they can start to put together a plan of action, feel informed and feel that they can take back control. After all, few family members are going to be experts on dementia or dementia services! They discover things as they go along and sometimes make mistakes because they don’t have all the relevant information. Anyone with concerns around dementia can contact the 24 hour helpline. We can call you back at a time which is convenient to you.
The dementia web helpline is supported by Guideposts Trust. Guideposts Trust is a charity you may have heard of. We’ve been working in Warwickshire for at least six years now, providing a wide range of community based services including a carer support service, which if funded through Warwickshire County Council and also a help at home service. If you hadn’t heard about us before, you have now! Life’s like that isn’t it, never know what’s around the corner? For a growing number of families dementia is what’s around the corner. Guideposts Trust’s aim is to support these families through the dementia web website, the 24 hour helpline and an “open door” at the offices in Rugby. We offer a confidential, impartial and very supportive service to everyone. If we can help – we will.
Dementia Information Service Co-ordinator for Warwickshire
24 hour Helpline number 0845 1204048
Office in Warwickshire – 44 Regent Street, Rugby, CV21 2PS
Guideposts Trust registered charity number 272619
- In the shoes of…Wendy Maxwell | Chill 4 Us Carers (whoseshoes.wordpress.com)
- In the shoes of…a very special carer| Fantastic, imaginative ways of keeping communication channels open (whoseshoes.wordpress.com)