Lisa Evans (47) from Audenshaw cares for her mother, Margarita, who has dementia. Lisa has been her mother’s carer for five years and has experienced many aspects of the local health and social care system – the good and the bad. She has also experienced how sometimes just sharing your experience with “someone that knows” can be very valuable.
In August this year, Lisa, along with her friends, Carol and June, decided to set up a community group to help carers of people with dementia. The new group, which meets monthly, has a clear objective: “to remind carers that they are not alone in their journey”. With tea, coffee and a friendly face on offer, Lisa believes that the group can become an integral part of the local community and providing advice and assistance to carers who need it.
Lisa added: “Having been a carer for my mum, Margarita, for a number of years, I know all the aspects of caring for somebody with dementia and I could see that a really important part of that care is having somebody or a group of people to turn to if you need advice, help, or just somebody to listen to you. This group has just been established, but we hope that it will become a valuable meeting place and resource for people in the community who are caring for loved ones with dementia.”
Joyce Smith, 68, who cares for her husband said: “Having a group you can talk to on a regular basis about your experiences is invaluable. When my husband first got diagnosed with dementia I didn’t know who I could ask for advice – this group can provide that.
“It’s also a great way of socialising, it gets me out of the house and it gets my husband out of the house too, and that’s great for us both.” She added.
Karen James, chief executive of Tameside and Glossop Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust said: “It is great to see new groups like this in the community and this is really what our integrated care ambitions are all about. “It’s about health and social care organisations linking up with groups like this and working together on how we can improve the local service offering and provide support for people living with dementia and their carers. “Lisa has shown great vision and ambition setting up this group and we fully support her”.
The group meets on the third Tuesday of every month between 13:00 - 15:00 and is held at the Fairfield Arms on Manchester Road, Audenshaw. For more information about the group, please contact Lisa on 0758 3546377 or June on 0771 3300075.