NURSE Sharon Coffey from Chadderton, Oldham works with people living with dementia as well as supporting her dad – Frank, aged 74, who is living with Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia.

The 47-year-old attended the course with her dad’s wife of 26 years – Irene – and together they both learnt new ways to communicate with Frank. Here she tells us about her experience.

Sharon said: “I joined the course in Rochdale to help my dad’s wife, as she wasn’t coping very well with certain situations and was finding life very stressful.

“I enjoyed meeting other people in similar situations and sharing stories. I learned a different way to communicate with someone with dementia by offering a person with dementia an invitation to respond, and it has been really helpful with my dad, for me and Irene. I feel I can have a conversation with my dad now without putting pressure on him to give an appropriate answer.

“I can communicate better and more comfortably with my dad and people I come across who have dementia. The course helped me to avoid questioning my dad and to say a statement rather than asking lots of questions.

“Irene now also has a much better understanding of dementia and uses the techniques we learned on the course, which has made her home life much less stressful. If my dad is saying something that is upsetting or offensive, Irene has learned to distract my dad by changing the conversation. My dad is calmer and in turn, so is Irene.

“The course is very relaxed and we both felt very comfortable. The trainers are non-judgmental, compassionate and friendly. During the sessions I opened up to people how I was feeling and vice versa, I found the course therapeutic. I joined the course to help my dad’s wife, but I got much more from the course than I expected. Thank you everyone.”

To find out more call 0161 212 4981 and to book on a course near you click here.