Today, we meet the team from the charity, Dementia Jersey.
Dementia Jersey is the only charity in Jersey supporting those affected by dementia and supports hundreds of families through their journey from early stages and diagnosis, through to grief.
In most cases, people tell us that hearing the diagnosis of a family member for the first time is the hardest, and the mountain of information to take in can feel overwhelming. Some can feel isolated, unsure what to do next and not know who to turn to.
“I remember sitting down for lunch and bursting into tears, sobbing, telling my friends what happened; at that point I crashed. You are grieving the loss of a loved one whilst thinking what happens now?”
[Local Carer of husband, married over 40yrs]
In most cases the partner, family member or friend becomes the carer, and their life changes from that day on. We hear from those we help about how their social life changes, that they feel they’re living in a bubble always thinking about the person with dementia, what are they doing? where are they? what will they do next? which can be exhausting. Some struggle to find respite and life can become lonely.
That’s why we’re here to provide a listening ear for anyone affected by dementia. We’re here to help and make sure you don’t make that journey alone.
We connect people, provide a safe place to talk, support for carers and therapeutic activities for those living with Dementia. Our counsellor Sian has been with the charity for over 11yrs, and advisor Rachel has first-hand experience caring for her husband following an Alzheimer’s diagnosis.
“The charity was simply a lifeline during the difficult time of diagnosis. The caring team reached out a hand of friendship and support and I gained vital knowledge of dementia through their excellent courses and support groups. This learning has enabled me to grow in confidence and cope with the demanding role of carer but has also shown me that my needs are important too.“
We hear from our clients that it can be hard to talk to friends as they may not understand and can assume they’re OK as the person living with dementia ‘looks fine’.
“People don’t realise how hard it is. The carers are the ones that are struggling. Their life changes, they don’t know how to cope, and they don’t always have the respite they need. It was a hard journey, but I learnt so much more through the charity. It connected me to people, to other carers, it helped me feel more relaxed through their support”.
[Margot, cared for partner living with Dementia]
We know that taking the first step can be hard, but when you do, our staff will do their best to make it easier. If you are affected by dementia in any way, confused by what to do next, or simply just need someone to listen, then please reach out.
You don’t have to be alone in this journey.
About Dementia Jersey
Dementia Jersey is the only charity in Jersey supporting those affected by Dementia. We run a range of therapeutic services for people with dementia, provide support for their carers and have two expert dementia advisors.
There are currently 1600 diagnosed with Dementia on the Island but with no cure and an ageing population numbers are growing, meaning now more than ever, support is crucial.
Click here for more information about Dementia Jersey.