New support service set up in Ely and Doddington to help people with dementia and their carers
- Credit: Archant
A mother-of-three from Little Downham has set up a support service to spend time with people with dementia so that carers can have a break.
Laura Clements launched Together with Dementia three months ago after having worked for the Alzheimer’s Society for seven years.
The 38-year-old looked after her grandmother, who also had Alzheimer’s, and supported her grandfather during that time – so understood how difficult it was to come to terms with a family member becoming ill.
She said: “My grandmother had dementia for 10 years and from that I learnt that people need more practical help and support.
“I go out to visit the person at home or take them out to do certain activities so that the carer can have a break.
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“The prices I charge include any activities that I may take with me for the person with dementia - I have a couple of clients whom I play garden boules and quoits with - while others prefer to sit and do jigsaws.
“Carers are desperate for more time to themselves but it’s difficult as they feel the guilt of having time off and worry about the person they’re looking after.
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“It can be worse for the family because they are watching the person they love become less of who they are.
“It can be frightening and confusing for everyone involved.”
Together with Dementia currently covers all of Cambridgeshire, with groups in Ely and Doddington, but Laura hopes it could be expanded if the right funding was granted.
“I am looking to apply for some funding as I strongly believe that this service is so needed, but I don’t feel it’s something that people should have to pay for, it can then be more accessible for everyone,” she added.
“I’m working solely to cover the sitting requests but my colleague is assisting me with the groups that we run.
“I currently see a man who has treatment a few times a week and his family have asked me to go along with them so his wife can have a break. Its things like this that make a difference.
“I can offer advice for people too, having come from the background I have its good to offer that extra bit of support.”
A free taster session will be held on July 9 at The Cathedral Centre, Palace Green, Ely from 10am to noon.
For more information on how Together with Dementia can help contact Laura on 07908716809 or visit www.togetherwithdementia.co.uk