THE Irish in Britain organisation has launched a new project which will provide support for people living with dementia and their carers.
Their Cuimhne Carers Project will create culturally specific resources for family members caring for Irish people living with dementia.
It is designed to help carers with a demanding role - for which there is little preparation or external support.
Retired health professional, dementia activist and co-founder of IIB’s Cuimhne initiative, Dr Mary Tilki explained: “Irish families expect and want to care for their loved ones when they develop dementia.
“However, they often take on the role of carer suddenly, without the knowledge or the skills they need to help the person with dementia and protect their own health.
“The Cuimhne Carers Project aims to provide, expert knowledge, information and practical advice and especially the opportunity to share thoughts and feelings and learn from others in a similar position.”
The new project consists of a large reminiscence resource, a carers online forum and a series of free webinars for carers and family members, which aim to improve quality of life for those affected by dementia.
The reminiscence materials suggest topics and questions to help stimulate people of Irish heritage to talk and be more socially engaged.
These will cover everything from school holidays and cooking to remedies and washdays.
As well as explaining the benefits of reminiscence for people living with dementia there is also advice about how to manage the risks of reviving unhappy or difficult memories.
There will be a series of weekly webinars addressing many different issues faced by carers.
Topics will include practical skills, for example, dressing, bathing and eating, as well as how to approach difficult conversations such as end of life and legal and financial planning.
Irish in Britain’s CEO Brian Dalton said, “This project will offer real support to carers as they support those living with dementia. We are proud that this resource recognises the needs of all those who give their time selflessly.”
The project has received supported the Department of Health and Social Care and the Race Equality Foundation.