Many people in Sooke provide unpaid care for someone with a serious health condition.
These caregivers provide countless hours of assistance and support to others. For those caring for loved ones with dementia, the strain of caregiving can often be overwhelming.
A new group in Sooke, the Dementia Caregivers Support Group, hopes to ease the burden.
Dementia is a general term used to describe a range of symptoms associated with a decline in mental function severe enough to reduce a person’s ability to perform everyday activities. It’s caused by a variety of diseases and injuries that affect the brain. Alzheimer’s disease is most common.
The Dementia Caregivers Support Group started earlier this year after the Alzheimer Society stopped hosting a local group due to dwindling numbers.
“I believe there was still a need to have a group,” said Sally Manning, the former facilitator of the Sooke Alzheimer caregivers group.
Now, four to five people meet once a month to discuss caregiving issues. The group covers a variety issues from sharing information to learning practical tips for coping with change to decrease feelings of loneliness and isolation.
“It’s important for people to understand that I am no longer affiliated with the Alzheimer Society; however, I do have more than seven years experience in facilitating two caregiver support groups with the society,” Manning said.
“I have that experience behind me as well as a store of information on dementia and caregiving that we can tap into for caregivers. I also encourage caregivers to contact their physicians and the Alzheimer Society of B.C. for their expertise.”
Anyone who is a caregiver, but not a person with dementia, is welcome to attend meetings, held the first Tuesday of every month at 10 a.m. in the TD Bank conference room. Caregivers who have not previously attended meetings are asked to contact Manning either by phone (250-642-7766) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org) to register.