The importance of a diagnosis and timely support
Dementia Action Week 2023 is held on 15-21 May and this year, the campaign is focusing on the importance of a diagnosis, encouraging people to ‘Act on Dementia’.
Sisters Sue and Gill, alongside their Dad Roy, all cared for their Mum Hettie, who was living with dementia during the Covid pandemic. They agree that they wish that they found our support system earlier, and reflect back on their care journey and how our services have helped them as a family.
Sue said: “There were times when nothing would work and just getting through the day was an achievement. The communication course helped me put a lot of things into perspective, using skills such as open body language and invitations to respond. It was invaluable, I really enjoyed it and got a lot out of it.
“As mum’s dementia progressed, things became really difficult and untenable. We had exhausted as many options as we could. Empowered Carers were able to provide a non-judgemental professional to talk to, and that is really the only support I had as a carer.
“People used to say, I don’t know how you do it and how you keep on going. But you do it because there is no other choice, and you love that person very much and you only want the best for them. Empowered Conversation’s is something that you probably won’t get anywhere else – there is not a lot of support out there that is tailored in the same way.”
Gill added: “The communication course helped me to communicate with my mum the best I could. Using what I had learnt, I would make sure when I went into the house that I was using open and friendly body language so she knew I was safe and she could trust me. Empowered Carers was a space where we could have important conversations and talk about how mum had been progressing. We were able to listen and discuss – that was brilliant.
“It helped us all to stay very close and we were reminded that we were doing our very best, validating our decisions and feelings. We know that because of their support, our mum’s end of years were as happy and as comfortable as they could be.”
Find out more about Empowered Conversations courses for family and professional Carers here.