Malcolm, husband to Marj and dad to Joanne, was diagnosed with dementia in 2021, and the family were referred to Empowered Conversations thanks to our colleagues within the Age UK Salford team. Here, Marj and Joanne tell us about their experience of completing our six week communication course for family carers.
Marj said: “We’ve been married for 54 years and one of the most difficult things for me is actually forgetting that he has dementia sometimes because you just try to carry on as normal and then it will suddenly hit you, for example when he forgets something that he usually would never have forgotten, like Joanne’s birthday.
“I am sure that Malcolm was showing signs of dementia long before he was diagnosed but he didn’t see anybody for a while because of the lockdown. The course has helped me to finally accept the diagnosis. I found out from other people taking the course that I wasn’t the only one who was finding it hard to accept. It was really useful that there were other people on the course we could talk to.
“It was interesting to learn about helping the person with dementia but I liked the way that course also explained how to cope with your own situation as a carer and how to recharge your batteries and look after yourself.” Joanne added: “It’s really important to get this kind of help so that you feel like you’re not on your own. One of the things I liked most was being able to share experiences with other families that took the course.
“I thought that what we learnt was very beneficial because it taught me a different perspective. It taught me how to approach conversations in a better way with my dad. It also helped me to understand his body language and how to appear more welcoming by being mindful of my own body language and facial expressions. I would really highly recommend the course to anyone who is able to take it. The earlier, the better.”
Find out more about Empowered Conversations courses for family and professional carers here.