Carers of people with dementia disucssed the “rocky road” they must travel at a special open day at St Cuthbert’s Hospice.
The event, was hosted by our Admiral Dementia Nurse Sharron Tolman.
She said: “I was delighted with the number of people who took the time to come along, including a person with dementia, staff, volunteers and carers.
We hope it helped people to understand a little more about dementia and view it in a more positive, understanding way.
“The feedback was excellent, with one attendee describing it as ‘enlightening’. We know, in the UK, 1 in 14 people over 65 have dementia, with over 6000 people in County Durham.
“If we can begin to raise awareness and understanding, this helps to reduce stigma and create a better understanding for all those touched by it.”
She spoke alongside neurochemist Dr Margaret Piggott and Mark Wilkes of the Alzheimer’s Society.
Sharron, had drawn up a road map of dementia, signposting the different stages of the disease and the help available along the way. What to expect and why it was important to reach out.
Many people are ashamed and also don’t want to burden their grown up children with the knowledge that a parent has dementia. They don’t want their friends and neighbours to know. And many people put down early lapses to stress or tiredness or illness.
Sharron told the gathering in our day hospice room that it was common to hear that people had been struggling along for three years. Some only accepted the fate of their loved one toward the very end of the road. The over-riding message was to seek help. The first step was to go to your GP.
Pictured: Front row: Mary Pearson, of Ushaw Moor, Lynda McDermott, Brenda Lambton and her husband Robin, who has dementia.
Back row, Dr Piggott, Heather Cook, St Cuthbert’s Hospice Family Support worker, Patricia McDermott, Sharron and Mark.