A NEWLY launched project offering support for Irish carers in Britain is proving a ‘lifeline’ for those who have signed up.
Irish in Britain’s (IIB) Cuimhne Carers Project launched just last month.
It offers support for family members caring for Irish people with dementia across the country.
This week the national charity confirmed that the service was progressing well, with “great feedback” from those taking part.
“[We] are happy to report the progress of their new dementia service, the Cuimhne Carers Project, which recognises the large numbers of Irish people in Britain living with dementia and the family members (carers) caring for them,” IIB confirmed this week.
“This is a responsibility for which they often have little preparation, limited knowledge and invariably very little support.
“Many provide up to 100 hours care each week and some can be caring 24/7 every day of the year.”
They added: “This has been even more difficult during the pandemic, with people with dementia and their carers being additionally isolated.
“The Cuimhne Carers Project aims to help family carers care for their loved ones, make life a bit easier for themselves while protecting their own health.”
The project consists of a series of weekly online sessions covering the main issues faced by family carers.
These webinars are by experts in the field and are recorded so that those unable to participate in the live sessions can view them at a more convenient time.
Sessions so far have included information about dementia, communicating with the person who has dementia, practical skills to make communication, dressing, eating and sleeping less problematic.
“Feedback from those who have participated is very positive,” the IIB confirms.
One participant said: “I want to say a special Go raibh míle maith agaibh because I shared the link to a very close friend who is a carer and who says the webinars have been really good.
“I appreciate that so much. You're offering people a lifeline.”
IIB is keen to extend the service to as many carers as possible.
Brian Dalton, IIB CEO, said: “Supporting carers has never been more important as we experience changing and increased restrictions, and all are welcome to make use of this valuable resource.”
Future webinars will cover minimising and managing difficult behaviour and looking after the carers’ own health.
Others will also cover difficult conversations such as planning for the future, legal and financial matters and end of life care.
The Cuimhne Carers Project section of the IIB website also offers an extensive online resource of culturally sensitive reminiscence materials, talks by Irish people living with dementia and activities such as the My Story memory book, music playlists and links to cultural archives in Ireland.
The full list of sessions and links to register can be found here.