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Carer Support Groups an Invaluable Resource

Carer's Support Group at Mary Chester House

If you have ever thought about attending one of our Carer Support Groups but haven’t found the time or perhaps felt overwhelmed by the prospect, then this may help.

Below is a letter to the editor of the Weekend West, published in December last year. The letter was written by a recent participant in our five week ‘Carer Support and Information Program’, for carers of people with dementia. The Morley-based program is run by Alzheimer’s WA staff member Deborah Fleming-Prins.

For five years now, this proud, so-called self-reliant guy refused to listen to his caring daughter who pleaded with him to attend the Alzheimer’s WA carer support and information group meeting that was held close to our home.

My reasoning was that I am OK, I will look after my family and I do not need any help from anyone. Eventually, my daughter nudged me over the edge and I reluctantly attended the five-weekly meeting of a small group in Morley.

Gosh! What an ignorant fella I have been for so long were my immediate feelings after I attended a few meetings. I was bowled over by the presenter who spoke in a soft voice, was so well prepared, patient with a loud participant like myself and very well organised.

The dementia program content was super. It was written in easy-to-understand English and to follow the presentation. Our questions were promptly answered and clarified where required.

“Hey,” I reprimanded myself, “I can use a lot of the information that would also be of assistance to my wife and myself as her unofficial carer.”

Where did I get all those crazy ideas about Alzheimer’s and other community groups? I wanted to ask our presenter to forgive me but my self-pride prevented me from doing so.

Walter Martins, Morley

To find out more about support available please call Alzheimer’s WA on 1300 66 77 88.

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