Daughter urges others to reach out for dementia support in Peterborough

A Peterborough carer has praised the support of Alzheimer’s Society for helping her feel that ‘she’s not alone’ ahead of Carers Rights Day.

By Rosie Boon
Sunday, 28th November 2021, 5:00 pm
Louise Yates with her mum.
Louise Yates with her mum.

Louise Yates, 48, is a full-time carer for her mum who is living with Lewy body dementia. She was diagnosed a month into the first national lockdown and only a week after Louise’s dad had died.

Louise said: “My world was turned upside down and with the pandemic to deal with too, I just felt isolated with nowhere to turn. Everything went into lockdown and we were left to just get on with things.

“Later that year I reached out to Alzheimer’s Society and it was the best thing I did.”

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As part of Carers Rights Day on Thursday 25 November, Alzheimer’s Society is urging people caring for a loved one with dementia in Peterborough, where more than 2,200 people are living with the condition, to get in touch if they have questions about the support and benefits they are entitled to.

The charity estimates this silent army of 1.8 million unpaid carers save the UK economy £13.9 billion a year, including £34.3 million in Peterborough, but says many are unaware of where to turn to for help.

Since the coronavirus pandemic began, over six million people in the UK have accessed the charity’s services, such as the Dementia Connect support line. Its vital support has been a real lifeline for thousands during the crisis but they want to reach more people affected by dementia.

Louise said: “I was introduced virtually to Grazi, a dementia support worker at Alzheimer’s Society in Peterborough. She has been amazing with her wealth of knowledge on all aspects of the support I’m entitled to.

“She’s gone through forms with me, explained next steps and helped me to put future plans in place. It would have been incredibly difficult to navigate all this on my own.

“It’s also having that person who understands what it is like, who reassures me and gives me advice to help mum.”

Louise also uses Alzheimer’s Society’s unique Dementia Resource Centre in Peterborough.

Louise said: “As things have opened back up, I attend the centre every Friday with mum for the Singing for the Brain group. I wake up with joy in my heart knowing we are going there as it is like a second family.

“All the staff at the centre are great and I’ve met other carers who I now stay in touch with. I urge anyone looking after someone with dementia to not go through it alone. It really helps to have these expert people and places available.”

Grazi Ciniero, is part of a team of Dementia Support Workers at Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia Resource Centre in Peterborough.

She said: “We are here for anyone affected by dementia, no one should have to go through the condition alone. We can provide both practical and emotional support, advice, activities and signpost to other organisations locally that can help.

“With the festive period coming up, some families will feel the added pressure of caring for a loved one or notice changes when spending time together. Alzheimer’s Society’s website has tips for creating a dementia friendly Christmas.

“As an organisation, our ‘Cure the Care System’ campaign calls on the Government to reform social care to make it fit for the future. Decades of under-funding has led to a system that is difficult to access, costly, inadequate and unfair. We believe social care should be free at the point of use, like the NHS and education, and easy to access for anyone affected by dementia.”

Anyone affected by dementia in Peterborough, can call Alzheimer’s Society’s dementia support team at the Dementia Resource Centre, on 01733 865710 or email [email protected]