Jane Nickels, MacIntyre's Learning Disabilities Admiral Nurse, shares her latest blog post providing an update on MacIntyre's Virtual Memory Cafés and tips on self-care for people caring for a someone with dementia..
I don’t know if I’m the only one but it feels like I blinked and missed November and Christmas is approaching fast!
Since my last blog, I have been lucky enough to attend my first MacIntyre Dementia Special Interest Group. This was an amazing day exploring all things dementia with like-minded people.
We had the amazing Dr Wendy Mitchell talk to us about her experiences of living with dementia and we said a fond farewell to Emma Killick, MacIntyre's Director for Adult Services, who has dedicated much of her time to people with a learning disability experiencing dementia. She will be sadly missed by all.
The virtual MacIntyre Memory Cafés have also been so successful, we now plan to run national cafés every month for the foreseeable future. We hope they help people to stay connected during these difficult times and we hope to resume our face to face café’s once it is safe enough to do so.
Sadly in the more recent daily news, we have heard of the sad passing of Dame Barbara Windsor, who was loved by many and touched so many people’s lives. She fought a courageous battle with Alzheimer’s and shared her experiences with others, campaigning for better support for families touched by dementia. Our thoughts are with her family at this difficult time.
Sometimes when supporting a person with dementia, we made need extra support ourselves (both physically and emotionally). Combined with the restrictions imposed due to COVID-19 and with Christmas quickly approaching, I thought we should focus on self-care for carers. I have popped a few resources below which I hope are helpful to some.
- Coping with feelings of guilt are normal so try not to be so hard on yourself – Dementia UK have developed some amazing resources which can be accessed on their website: Looking after yourself as a carer - Dementia UK
- If possible take some time out to do something for you as a carer – Meditation or yoga can be very helpful to relax and de-stress, if only for a short while. There are free online meditation and yoga classes/videos now, so maybe it’s a good time to try something new.
- Don’t underestimate the emotional impact of dementia – MacIntyre have an amazing resource covering this topic and it’s well worth having a read – You can access this here: Emotional Impact of Dementia - Wellbeing for Life
- The amazing Beth Britton shared a resource recently which I thought was such a great idea. It’s a dedicated website/forum for people with dementia and their carers sharing tips on various subjects related to dementia. Their link is Home - Dementia Tip-Share (dementiatip-share.org.uk)
If you feel alone over Christmas and are struggling, there are many organisations that can help and support you so please do not feel you are ever truly on your own.
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