Workshops on Coping Skills for families and carers of people with Dementia in Thurles

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Workshops on Coping Skills for families and carers of people with Dementia in Thurles

The Source Arts Centre is the venue for two forthcoming workshops which aim to provide families and carers of people with dementia with practical advice and skills on how best to provide support.

Facilitated by Ursula Paine, a specialist dementia nurse, and Jennifer Manning, a clinical nurse manager from the Community Hospital of the Assumption in Thurles, the workshops will take place on Friday May 18 and Friday May 25, from 2.30-4.30pm. Attendance is free and members of the public can choose which ever date works best for them to come along with no need to register in advance.

The workshops are supported by the Dementia: Understand Together campaign, which is led by the HSE in partnership with the Alzheimer’s Society of Ireland and Genio. The campaign aims to create an Ireland that embraces and includes people with dementia, and which displays solidarity with them and their families.

Dementia is caused by a number of diseases that damage the nerve cells in the brain. Common symptoms may include difficulties with thinking and language, problem-solving and carrying out everyday tasks, as well as issues with memory loss and changes in mood and behaviour.

Dementia specialist nurse, Ursula Paine, comments: “Over 180,000 people in Ireland are currently, or have been, carers for a family member or partner with dementia. Many more provide support and care in other ways. We also know that the number of people with dementia is predicted to more than double by 2036. Caring for someone is hugely rewarding, but it can also be challenging. These workshops are about supporting family members in their caring role by providing advice around the practical things that they can do to help cope with the stresses of caring, as well as offering information on services and supports that can help.

“These workshops will cover a range of really useful topics for people. We look at what dementia is – for example, many people don’t know that there are more than 400 types of dementia and that each person’s experience of dementia is different. We look at emotions and how to better understand and deal with them, how to go about supporting a person’s daily activities, and how to best maintain relationships with the person with dementia, as well as with family and friends. Of course, a key focus for us is the carer and the importance of self-care. This is vital not only for the carer’s own health and well-being but will also support them to be better able to care for their family member.”

The Dementia: Understand Together campaign is funded by the HSE and The Atlantic Philanthropies and began in 2015. The campaign website offers a comprehensive information resource on dementia, including a service-finder detailing county-by-county the dementia supports and services available. Posters, leaflets and badges are available to order from www.healthpromotion.ie. For information and support, visit www.understandtogether.ie or Freephone 1800 341 341. For more information on the workshops, contact Ursula Paine on 086 838 1818.