Patients’ group reaches out to carers in Sheringham

North Norfolk Alzheimer's Society dementia support worker Brian Canning chats to Jo Williams and her

North Norfolk Alzheimer's Society dementia support worker Brian Canning chats to Jo Williams and her husband Ron, who has Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease, at a carers event held at Sheringham Medical Practice. Picture: KAREN BETHELL - Credit: Archant

Carers looking after loved ones at home had a chance to chat to representatives from specialist charities and organisations ranging from the Alzheimer's Society, to Norfolk Carers' Support, at a drop-in session held at Sheringham Medical Practice at the weekend.

Mary Russell (left), of North Norfolk Older People's Forum and Penny Bevan Jones, of wellbeing chari

Mary Russell (left), of North Norfolk Older People's Forum and Penny Bevan Jones, of wellbeing charity Excel 2000, who were on hand to offer help and advice at a carers event held at Sheringham Medical Practice. Picture: KAREN BETHELL - Credit: Archant

Organised by the surgery's Patient Participation Group (PPG), the event, which followed successful cancer awareness and dementia drop-ins held at the Cromer Road centre in previous years, aimed to offer advice and information, as well as a chance to share tea and biscuits with fellow carers.

PPG member Janet Eastwood said that as well as giving the practice a chance to 'network' with carers' charities, the event had provided an opportunity for people to find out about help and support available in their local area.

'The first person we had walk through the door was nearly in tears,' she said. 'He was exhausted from looking after his wife, but he was able to get help from each of the agencies, so, for people like him, I think having the drop-in was a real success.'

Jo Williams, 79, attended the event with her husband Ron, 85, who has Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease.


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'I think the hardest thing about being a carer is finding time for yourself,' she said. 'It is a 24-hour a day job, so things like this are very helpful as the more information you can get, the better.'

As well as chatting to north Norfolk Alzheimer's Society dementia support worker Brian Canning, Mrs Williams spoke to Age Concern North Norfolk administrator Adam Faulconbridge, who was able to provide information on local support.

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'Being a carer creeps up on you and it starts so slowly that you almost don't notice it,' Mrs Williams said. 'But just meeting people who understand or who are in the same situation is a big help.'

Practice manager Pauline Craske thanked PPG members for their efforts. She said: 'Having the carers event is a good way of communicating with patients, making the practice aware of what they need and letting them know about the help that is available.'

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