30 August, 2016

Weekly dementia Carer Support Group sessions

The Guernsey Alzheimer’s Association has recently taken over the administration of the Carer Support Group run in conjunction with the Older Adult Community Mental Health team (OACMHT).

The group was set up by the OACMHT to offer carers of people with dementia a forum where they can meet others in similar situations and where they can hear talks from various professionals. The sessions focus on approaches to care and on providing information about services that are available locally.

These Carer Support Group sessions take place every Wednesday afternoon at 2pm at the Guernsey Alzheimer’s Association’s centre at Delancey. The first hour is a talk by a specialist on their area of expertise followed by an informal questions and answers and refreshments.

The initiative is a good example of Health and Social Care working in conjunction with the voluntary sector.  

Barbara Giles, Chairman of the Guernsey Alzheimer’s Association said: “We recognise the vital need to support our carers who are often the partner or child of the person with dementia. We are aware that carers who take on both the practical and/or emotional caring responsibilities are at higher risk of stress due to the demands placed on them. We recognise the need to provide advice, education or assistance in organising services or signposting our carers towards support organisations.”

The sessions include: What is dementia? Medication issues; Continence; Legal Advice, Wills & guardianship, Social security and benefits, Activity, Managing stress, Community Services, Anxiety in dementia, Living well with dementia, Life stories, Communications, Physical health issues, Person centred care, and Managing difficult behaviours.

All carers their family and friends are invited to attend these free, friendly and inclusive sessions.  

“Carers can also bring their relative/friend who is living with dementia along with them as we have a number of volunteers who will sit with them and provide a range of activities at the same time,” said Mrs Giles.

Paul Corcoran, manager of the Older Adult Mental Health Team said:  “We would like to thank the Guernsey Alzheimer's Association for volunteering to take over the organisation of these specialist group sessions for carers.  This frees up our staff to dedicate more time to clinical work and we hope the Alzheimer’s Association can help develop and promote the numbers attending the group even further.

“We have been running these sessions for many months and those people caring for their loved one who has dementia, find them extremely valuable.”

A representative from the Older Adult Community Mental Health Team and Memory Clinic Team is represented at each of the sessions to answer any questions carers may have.

The team includes the following specialists:

Paul Corcoran, Team Manager

Neil Lawlor, Community Mental Health Nurse

Michelle Tennant Community Mental Health Nurse

Kate Wilesmith, Community Mental Health Nurse

                Emma Armstrong-Clarke, Community Mental Health Nurse

Rebecca Simmons, Support Worker

Jodie Guillou, Assistant Administrator

A list of future Carer Support Group dates, topics and speakers can be found on

For more information contact Guernsey Alzheimer’s Association 01481 245121 or The Older Adult Mental health Team, 01481 72524, Ext 3515.

Issued by Di Stenner, 07781 113708,

For further information contact:  Barbara Giles, or mobile: 07781 123027