Dementia group celebrates first birthday

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CALLS have been made this week for more people to come forward and use a worthy service in Queensferry which provides help for people with dementia and their carers.

The Almond Supper Club, run by Queensferry Churches’ Care in the Community (QCCC), celebrates its first anniversary this week.

The club was set up to provide a social evening for people diagnosed with dementia and those who care for them at home.

Over the past year the supper club has had outings to various restaurants in Edinburgh and Fife as well as enjoying fish suppers, buffets, pasta dishes and old favourites like stovies and haggis supplied by local caterers. It has also organised entertainment at its base, The Haven.

Liz McIntosh (above), manager at QCCC said: “Due to the benefits which we see this service provides to carers and the person they care for, we want to keep telling people about it.

‘‘It’s about giving people different choices. As carers, people have told us in the past that it is not always about having a break from the person they care for that helps, it’s about enabling them to still do things together that is important too.”

Liz pointed out that a carer could be a husband, wife, sister, brother, good friend or even a neighbour. And the supper club gives both the chance to spend some quality time together in a relaxed and supported environment.

Although a small group, it can support up to seven “couples” and has had consistently between four to five couples attend the fortnightly sessions over the past year.

Liz highlighted how the supper club had benefited carers, saying that one husband who looks after his wife and who regularly attends the club said: “I look forward to it as it is something for both me and my wife to do.

‘‘It’s different each week and has helped my situation considerably.

‘‘The staff and people that attend understand and support my wife with her problems, allowing me to relax and enjoy the evening”.

Another carer who attends with her husband added: “I enjoy it personally and know my husband does too. I was wary at first but now I really look forward to it as everyone is so friendly and helpful.

‘‘We have such a laugh and I don’t feel we are being “judged” as, due to some of the problems my husband has, I do sometimes feel this when I am out on my own with him.”

The club is held on the second and fourth Thursday of each month between 4-7pm. If you would like to hear more or know someone who could benefit from it please get in touch with The Haven on 0131-331-5570.

Queensferry Care provides other services in the communities of Queensferry, Dalmeny, Kirkliston and Ratho.

If you would like to find out more contact the above number.