Alzheimer’s sup­port group for Whit­sun­days

Whitsunday Times - - COMMUNITY NEWS -

ED­U­CA­TION and sup­port will now be avail­able for lo­cals living with or car­ing for a per­son with Alzheimer’s dis­ease thanks to a newly formed sup­port group.

Whit­sun­day Health Ser­vice Se­nior So­cial Worker, Draz Stanko, said the ser­vice had iden­ti­fied a need for peo­ple deal­ing with the con­di­tion to come to­gether.

“The aim is to pro­vide a space and op­por­tu­nity for peo­ple living with Alzheimer’s and their car­ers to share their ex­pe­ri­ences and feel­ings,” she said.

“It will be an op­por­tu­nity to dis­cuss prac­ti­cal strate­gies and learn new ways to cope with the stress of changed be­hav­iours.”

Alzheimer’s dis­ease is the most com­mon form of de­men­tia, af­fect­ing up to 70 per cent of all peo­ple with de­men­tia. More than 300,000 peo­ple live with de­men­tia in Australia and half of th­ese also ex­pe­ri­ence a men­tal health prob­lem.

Ms Stanko said re­search showed that car­ers were at a sig­nif­i­cantly greater risk of hav­ing men­tal health prob­lems them­selves.

“[And] we be­lieve it will be re­ally use­ful for the Whit­sun­day com­mu­nity to have a way of get­ting to­gether for sup­port from each other and health pro­fes­sion­als,” she said.

The group’s first meet­ing was held yes­ter­day with sub­se­quent meet­ings to take place at the Proser­pine Hos­pi­tal ev­ery sec­ond month.

The next meet­ing will be held on May 6 from 10am-noon. For more in­for­ma­tion con­tact 4813 9400.

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