Care and Share Group
Dementia is a part of so many people’s lives today. More and more people are being diagnosed with the condition which is affecting many lives, families and relationships. Age UK defines Dementia ‘as a progressive disorder that affects how your brain works and in particular the ability to remember, think and reason. Dementia is not a consequence of growing old. But the risk of having dementia increases with age. In 2014, it was estimated that 850,000 people were living with dementia in the UK, 773,502 were aged 65 and over.’
Here in Lutterworth a group of caring individuals are supporting people living with dementia. This includes both the patients and the carers. The Care and Share group aim to help dementia sufferers feel part of the community and enable them to join in with a variety of activities. The Care and Share group are hoping through their programme of events they will help to slow down symptoms and help people keep active. The group relies on volunteers help and community transport to help run their sessions. The group have a wonderfully rich diary of events every month with activities planned to benefit all.
On Mondays the group meets in The Community Room at the Wycliffe Medical Centre in Lutterworth from 10 to 12. There are craft activities for people to participate in. Outside there is a patch of land where people can enjoy gardening.
On Wednesdays the group join The Methodist Church for their coffee morning. This is an opportunity to mix with different people and enjoy talking and sharing news.
On the first Friday of the month, at The Methodist Church, Alison Anderton from Age Concern, hosts a fun session of games and cards.
On the second Friday there is a care and share session at The Methodist Church which is an opportunity for chat or a structured activity such as chair exercise. Sometimes the group go on a trip out to a nearby location.
On the third Friday at Cotesbach Village Hall there is a Dementia Café ran by Alzheimer’s Society.
And, finally, on the fourth Friday St Mary’s Church Lutterworth for coffee, cake, chat and possibly live music.
If you know someone who would benefit from the Care and Share group they will need to be referred by their G.P, local church or Age Concern. Sophie Styles from St Marys Church will be able to provide more information. Some people arrive independently but lifts can be arranged.
I personally think the Care and Share group have an incredibly empathic ethos and are tackling a very worthy cause. My father passed away 5 years ago from an illness which had symptoms akin to Dementia. It can be a very isolating and debilitating condition. Studies have proven that keeping active and maintaining a social life help greatly with the symptoms. I wish the group every possible success and hope many people are reached.
By Nickola Coughlan