"Care for the Carer"

About: Older people's mental health / Community mental health - Southampton

(as a carer),

I am caring for my elderly mother with vascular dementia, who has lived with us for the last two years. She has other serious health problems and has had to move away from her home town which she misses very much. I have no other close relatives on her side of the family, to share in her care or decision making.

Our Adult Mental Health team at Newtown House in Eastleigh arranged for me to attend a nine week course at the Carer's Suport Group. This has helped a great deal as we learned all about the various forms of dementia from healthcare professionals, along with how to look after our own health and things to do, to increase our client's wellbeing. We were given all the information we could want and various contact numbers for other services that we can access should we need to.

This has made all the difference, I no longer feel alone and have a better grasp of the situation, knowing that I can cope with the changes that will occur in my mother's condition, which can be frightening if you are not prepared for it.

I think everyone who is caring for a person with dementia would benefit from this course and resources should be put to making this available to them.

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Response from Consumer Experience and Engagement Officer, Consumer Experience and Engagement Team, Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust

Thank you so much for taking the time to give these encouraging comments about the Carers' Support Group in Eastleigh. Comments such as this are important for when we are planning our services for the future. We will ensure that they are fed back promptly to the relevant members of staff.