Archive for April, 2010

GP Award Scheme launched by Princess Royal Trust for Carers

To raise GP’s awareness about the need to identify and support carers, the Princess Royal Trust for Carers has created the Caring about Carers Award for GP’s. There will be a winner for each home nation and an overall UK-wide winner.

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Three main parties reveal their plans for carers and dementia sufferers in battle for Number 10

With the General Election fast approaching, the Alzheimer’s Society has called on the three main political parties to include the following three commitments in their general election manifestos: 

  1. To develop a new system for social care that delivers good care at a fair price;
  2. Make dementia research a higher priority;
  3. Keep Attendance Allowance—a benefit people with dementia rely on.

The three main parties have now published their manifestos, and they have made a number of pledges in these key areas.

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Fiona Phillips launches ‘Memory Problems?’ project

A new campaign entitled ‘Memory Problems?’ has been launched by ex GMTV presenter Fiona Phillips to help people recognise the early signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, and distinguish these from the normal changes that occur with ageing.

The campaign’s aim is to reduce the time it currently takes from possible symptoms being noticed in a potential sufferer to them seeing their doctor. While there is no cure for Alzheimer’s, diagnosing and starting treatments to manage the disease early can slow its progression. Research reveals the vast majority of Alzheimer’s disease patients are initially brought to the doctor by a family member (93%).

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Depression Alliance launches this year’s Depression Awareness Week

The word ‘depression’ is often used to describe everyday feelings of low mood which can affect us all from time to time. Feeling sad or fed up is a normal reaction to experiences that are upsetting, stressful or difficult; those feelings will usually pass.

However, as the Depression Alliance website points out, if you are affected by depression, you are not ‘just’ sad or upset. You have an illness which means that intense feeling of persistent sadness, helplessness and hopelessness are accompanied by physical effects such as sleeplessness, a loss of energy, or physical aches and pains. Unfortunately depression affects a great deal of carers as they struggle with the challenges of their caring role.

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Carers celebrate the arrival of Spring at their annual meal

Dave and Fred with their raffle prizes

Crossroads Care in the Vale holds two annual events for carers and their dependent relatives, usually at Penarth Conservative Club where we are kindly permitted to use the large function room. However, this Easter, as numbers attending were a little lower, carers and their relatives instead enjoyed a meal at the Star in Dinas Powys. The event was partly funded by sponsorship raised in recent years, making it an inexpensive afternoon out for those who attended. 

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‘Carers’ Voices’ speak volumes about carers’ experiences

Last year, Linda, a carer from Barry, proposed writing about her experiences of caring for a loved one with dementia. Linda is a member of Crossroads Care in the Vale’s carers’ support group, whose members meet on a monthly basis to discuss the challenges they face in their caring role.

Through listening to other carers’ stories, and giving and receiving emotional support, Linda felt that she, and carers in a similar situation, could write about and share their experiences with other people. A number of fellow group members were keen to get involved in the project, and have now produced ‘Carers Voices’ – a booklet which tells the story of seven carers and their relatives who have developed a form of dementia. The booklet also has a foreword by Dr Antony Bayer of the Memory Team based at Llandough Hospital.

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