Free training for caregivers

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People who support or care for a person living with dementia are being offered the chance to learn more about the condition and how it affects the individual at Ballymoney Town Hall on Monday, April 24 at 10am, Bushmills Community Centre on Monday, April 24 at 2pm, and Millburn Community Centre, Coleraine on Friday, April 28 at 10am and for six weeks thereafter.

The training aims to help people understand more about the condition and its symptoms, including the sort of behaviours that people may display which can at times be challenging. By understanding more about dementia the training helps people to cope better with supporting the individual.

The training also provides an opportunity for those supporting a person with dementia to talk openly in a friendly and confidential environment, about their experiences and the impact it is having on them.

Support and advice will be given on the following topics: What is dementia; Legal and financial matters; Learning to manage stress & coping techniques; Communication skills; Health, self-care and well-being; Local services available

For more information contact Sarah McLaughlin on 07860258728 to find out more and to book a place on the next programme in your local area. Alternatively you can contact 028 9038 7480 or e-mail

Alzheimer’s Society trainer, Sarah McLaughlin, said: “Relatives of people with dementia often say that it can be really frustrating when someone doesn’t want to change their clothes, have a shower or sleep at night, especially if the person doesn’t accept that there is anything wrong with them.

“Understanding how the person is trying to make sense of the world, and how they feel about the losses they are experiencing, can help relatives to be more patient and cope better. This, in turn, helps the person with dementia to be more content.

“The training will also help people to better understand the changes that occur as dementia progresses and there will be the opportunity for carers to discuss the difficulties they face and what tactics work for them. In March we had two successfully attended courses in Ballysally Estate and West Bann Community Centre so we know there is a need for this support in the local area. ’

Below are comments from people who have attended the training:

“I feel 100% more capable to deal with my future now. The course has taken away a lot of the fear of the unknown and I know I can refer to all the leaflets and notes when I am dealing with difficult behaviour as it happens. The trainer’s good solid advice and meeting other carer’s has been completely invaluable,” Patricia, Coleraine

“The course has been invaluable to myself and my husband, I definitely have more understanding of my mum’s different behaviours and hopefully will have more patience and understanding of what she is thinking,” Christine, Coleraine.