A group of carers and nurses from a residential nursing home in Caister-on-Sea is launching a brand new project to help make Great Yarmouth ‘dementia friendly’ by setting up a free fortnightly support group at the home, with the first gathering taking place last week.
Christine Morgan, who manages Claremont House & Lodge which was recently recognised at the Norfolk Care Awards for its excellence in delivering dementia care, is setting up the ‘dementia support group’ with her team of carers. The group is open to anyone from the Great Yarmouth area that may be looking for a friendly place to turn to as a regular source of help, advice or dementia best practice.
The group aims to provide answers to those who may themselves have been diagnosed with dementia and may be looking for additional guidance, as well as for those caring for a loved one who may wish to meet others experiencing the same as them, in a friendly and supportive environment.
It is also an opportunity for the community to come and find out more about dementia and to receive advice on how best to interact and support those living with the effects of the condition across the town and surrounding villages.
Confirms Christine: “I was recently involved in a televised discussion on making Norwich ‘dementia friendly’ and it struck me that better, centralised support should also be made available in Great Yarmouth. With dementia on the increase, I believe it is important for people to have access to the right support and information, as well as to be able to ask questions, seek advice and share experiences – this is exactly what our fortnightly group will do.” The groups will be held every fortnight at Claremont House and will be a place for local carers, their family members/friends, local shop owners/staff, local taxi firms and other businesses that work with the general public to come together. It is hoped that business owners will participate to learn more about dementia and how to cope within the community when faced with specific circumstances.
Claremont provides specialised nursing care for the elderly, with dedicated support for those living with dementia. Up to 50 residents are cared for within the home, which has a 24-bed specialist dementia unit. It has been recognised within the industry for its extremely high standard of care, and was recently ‘highly commended’ at the Norfolk Care Awards for ‘Excellence in Delivering Dementia Care.’ Christine and the team provide innovative and effective ways of supporting those living with dementia and the support group will be an extension of this work.
Christine adds: “Dementia is a challenging and complicated condition and many people find themselves with a loved one who has been diagnosed, or perhaps they know a member of the community who needs help, yet they don’t have the knowledge or experience to support that person effectively. “We are opening our doors at Claremont to share our experiences and advice, as well as invite other experts to come in and speak to help make it easier for members of the community. It is my goal to make Great Yarmouth ‘dementia friendly’, which will help those people who live with dementia feel understood, valued and able to contribute to their community.”