New service launched to support people with dementia and their carers

Scottish charity Health in Mind has launched a new service to support people with dementia and their carers.

The service, ‘A Sense of Me', works in small groups and supports participants to think about and explore how they can live well with dementia, either as a carer or someone who has been diagnosed. The service is supported with funding from the Life Changes Trust with the Trust funded by the Big Lottery Fund.

Hazel Whyte is project worker with ‘A Sense of Me’ and she explained that wellness is not an accident but something that requires action.

“The groups are small and in private spaces within community venues and people meet every week for half a day.

“Together, we look at what needs to be in place to live well with dementia and what actions people can take to help them live well”, said Hazel.

Initially, the group encourages participants to discuss their own personal goals and explore what is needed to support people to meet these goals. This is the start of building respectful and understanding relationships where everyone feels listened to and understood.

Hazel continued: “The groups are delivered at a pace dictated by the participants and support comes from the mutual sharing of experiences.

“This creates an understanding of everyone’s own and each other’s challenges, which leads to a better understanding of how to live well with dementia and manage health and wellbeing in the future.”

Carers and people with dementia are supported within the same group and will also have time apart to fully explore the issues facing them.

Hazel continued: “We know their time together is highly valued by carers and people with dementia, but experience tells us that the space to reflect and learn with others in a similar situation is also very important.

“Group members will also be supported to create their own Wellness Recovery Action Plan or WRAP which is a recognised self-management tool developed to encourage participants to concentrate on what is strong and not what is wrong.

“WRAP supports people to understand more about the choices available to them, enabling them to spend time with peers reflecting on the things that matter and think about how to make hopes and dreams a reality through improved wellness and self-awareness.”

To find out more about joining an ‘A Sense of Me’ group, contact Hazel Whyte at 0131 225 8508 or email hazel.whyte@health-in-mind.org.uk

 

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