Do you have a parent with dementia? ... and do you live in the Harrogate area?
If so, a new dementia support group in the town could help you.
Dementia Connection is a self-help support group that meets once a month to help people who have a parent with dementia share their own experiences, learn form each other, and gain practical help and support from invited guest speakers.
The group was formed by Louise Hanen, Ruth Sprowell and Carla Wise, who decided to use their own personal experiences of dementia to help others struggling with the practical and emotional demands of caring for a parent.
Set up in September 2017 the group is already making a big difference to families in the Harrogate area. In an interview with Stray FM Louise explains:
"We're signposting them, we're giving them advice, but more importantly, they're getting an opportunity to come away and have a chat about how they feel about their parent who has got dementia. Hopefully, that helps them in the decisions that they're going to have to make along that journey and there is somebody there for them as well.
"We're going to be getting speakers in, as the year progresses. We've got the Alzheimer's Society coming in February and Dementia Forward are coming in March. We're bringing in the experts to talk and I think they're finding that very helpful, because we're taking it to them - they're not having to go and seek it out.
"It can be tragic for the families, because they're seeing the person that they knew as their mother or father completely change and all the challenges that brings. There's a bit of stubbornness around it as well. People are saying 'we're fine, we don't need any help', whereas I'm finding that the people that are coming to our group are saying 'my mum and dad do need that help'.
"It's about encouraging them and helping them to take the support, because that will enable them to be able to care longer and stay longer in their homes, which is the best place."
The Dementia Connection group meet at 7:30pm on the first Tuesday of every month at The Pine Marten on Otley Road in Harrogate. Newcomers are always welcome.
For more information, or to get in touch, find Dementia Connection on Facebook