Dementia Reframed workshops aim to ease burden for carers, sufferers

Berrima workshops aim to ease burden of dementia

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Charlie Eldridge shares photos with his granddaughter, Natalie Anderson, in October 2018. At the time he had very advanced Alzheimers and was cared for at home by a team of carers, friends and relatives who learnt how to communicate with him and keep his smile alive. Charlie died just four weeks later. Photo supplied

Charlie Eldridge shares photos with his granddaughter, Natalie Anderson, in October 2018. At the time he had very advanced Alzheimers and was cared for at home by a team of carers, friends and relatives who learnt how to communicate with him and keep his smile alive. Charlie died just four weeks later. Photo supplied

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Dementia Reframed will present a series of workshops at Berrima to help people become more aware of and learn more about dementia care.

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Do you know someone with dementia? Do you care for someone with dementia?

Do you want to understand more about life with dementia, for all touched by it?

Dementia Reframed will present a series of workshops at Berrima to help people become more aware of and learn more about dementia care.

The not-for-profit organisation knows that dementia can be hard - no one prepares or trains a caring or sufferer for what is involved.

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Dementia Reframed wants that to change as it believes the quality of life of a person with dementia, especially over time, is entirely dependent on good care and the need for this will increase progressively.

The organisation acknowledges that for some this is a slow process, with many years to be enjoyed before vulnerabilities set in; for others, it is more rapid.

There are no typical pathways, no simple care recipes, no instructions. But there are ways to learn how to look after the person with dementia and look after the carers.

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The Berrima workshops will be held on October 15, 22,and 29 at Charlie's Indoor Outdoor Shop 2, Mrs Oldbucks Centre on the corner of Hume Highway and Wingecarribee Street, Berrima.

Each workshop will be held from 10am to 12.30pm.

Workshops include:

Workshop 1: Living positively with dementia - Dementia is an incurable disease but we can all help those who live with it. Dementia is really a social diagnosis because it affects so many - those who have the illness, as well as partners, family, caregivers, friends, health professionals, neighbours, shopkeepers and others in a local community. Creating an aware, supportive and dementia-friendly environment is important. Partners, family, friends and neighbours need support, ideas and information for this to happen. We will encourage 'thinking sideways' about the challenges dementia confronts us with as individuals and communities, to think more positively and creatively. Most people diagnosed with dementia live at home and want to stay there as long as possible. We can all help this happen.

Workshop 2: Carers learn from carers: sharing stories and insights - Carers learn most from other carers. Their stories are filled with ups and downs but have insights that are acquired by living the experience of caring for someone with dementia in their own home. By sharing stories, carers support each other, and we are not so alone. Bring your story to this workshop, and bring your questions. While different forms of dementia impact on the specificities of people's experience, people with dementia can live well with good support. What do families need to provide that support? And how can people in a community contribute? Have a look at our website for carers before you come to the workshop - you might like to contribute your story or your ideas: www.dementiacarers-aust.com.au.

Workshop 3: Communicating with someone with dementia - Dementia changes the ways people engage with each other over time. Big adjustments have to be made and this makes dementia care particularly challenging. The need for care will increase progressively. For some this is a slow process, with many years to be enjoyed before vulnerabilities set in; for others, it is more rapid. We find ourselves having to re-learn ways of communicating. Carers have to change more than a lifestyle - they need to rethink taken-for-granted attitudes, styles of relating, hopes and values. This is not easy: dementia care is distinctive, and so is the support carers need. There are no typical pathways, no simple care recipes, no instructions. But we can become more informed and develop new skills, we can be understanding rather than fearful, sad but positive.

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The cost per workshop is $20.00 ($50 for all three) for concession card holders, $40.00 ($100 for all three) for non-concession card holders. This includes morning tea.

Registration is essential as places are strictly limited.

You can register at the events page at www. dementia-reframed.com.au/ourevents

Anyone interested, but who can't attend on those dates should get in touch as Dementia Reframed will run more carer support sessions in the Southern Highlands on request - and organisations that wish to host them are also welcome to get in touch.

Further details: dementiareframed@gmail.com

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The story Dementia Reframed workshops aim to ease burden for carers, sufferers first appeared on Southern Highland News.

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