THE Birches Day Centre Nurse Manager Olive Joyce is encouraging anyone who has a diagnosis of Alzheimers in their lives to attend its family support group in-person meeting.
The Dundalk Alzheimers Day Centre on the Dublin Road had a “very strong” family support group prior to Covid-19.
“Under Covid-19 the meetings were held virtually but we are now back to in-person meetings,” said Olive.
The new support group meetings are taking place on the last Thursday of each month in the Birches Day Centre, Priorland Road, Dundalk at 7pm.
“The aim of the group is to provide a support network where people have an understanding of the difficulties of the family carer,” said Olive.
“Only someone who has walked the same road can really understand how and what the family carer is dealing with.”
The support group has been running for 23 years this year.
“As we have encountered issues along the road; we’ve brought solutions. The meetings are the one place you can come and be yourself,” she said.
“It’s two hours for one night a month where you can come and be yourself. You don’t have to talk but it’s a safe space.
“Some people in the group will be ahead of you or behind you on the road. There is information but that’s not the main aim.”
Olive continued: “Most people first come in with a wariness but they find that it’s a non-judgmental space.
“It’s key to minding yourself; there is a hidden grief and over 66 per cent of carers tend to develop some health issues.
“Carers are not in constant crisis but it is constant wear and tear. Everyone has something to contribute and there is a tremendous amount of support.”
She added: “And it’s peer support which is very important as everybody understands where you are at.”
For more information contact Olive on 042 935 1388 or 085 8728667 for more details.