Help at hand for Alzheimer’s caregivers

Late last year, the Dementia/Alzheimer’s Support Group was established to help and support caregivers of people who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. 

The support group, which meets once a month, has been growing in leaps and bounds since then, but it wants to spread the word that caregivers of Alzheimer’s sufferers are not alone. 

“We’ve been growing. We started with 15 members when we had our first meeting in September. At our last meeting, we had 25,” said founder Dorothy Davis. 

As well as offering presentations from medical professionals, the group offers a confidential forum for caregivers “to express their feelings and frustrations,” Ms Davis said. 

The group defines caregivers as spouses, children, siblings, other family members, friends or paid caregivers who deal with people with Alzheimer’s or other kinds of dementia. 

“When we meet, we try to have people who can give support and share experiences and educate,” Ms Davis said. 

Previous speakers have included Health Services Authority psychiatrist Dr. Loraine Barnaby and Kirk’s pharmacy manager Samantha Conolly, who talked about drugs for Alzheimer’s and their side effects. 

One of the aims of the group, Ms Davis explained, is to train caregivers and make courses available to them in Cayman. She said she also hopes that the group can build a registry of trained caregivers “so people can know where to turn”. 

This month, the Dementia/Alzheimer’s Support Group is bringing dementia care expert Frena Gray-Davidson to Grand Cayman from the United States. 

Ms Gray-Davidson, an inspirational speaker and author of four books on Alzheimer’s, will host free workshops for caregivers. 

The first two workshops will be held at the Hibiscus Conference Room at the Cayman Islands Hospital (beside the Pink Ladies Coffee Shop) from 9am to 11am on Saturday, 24 March, and from 5.30pm to 7.30pm on Wednesday, 28 March. 

Ms Gray-Davidson will also hold workshops at the Seventh Day Adventist Church in Savannah at 5pm, Saturday 31 March and at the All Nations United Pentecostal Church from 7.30pm on Wednesday, 28 March. 

In her hands-on, practical workshop, Ms Gray-Davidson will equip caregivers with new skills and give them a set of working tool for the future, Ms Davis said.  

Dementia/Alzheimer’s Support Group meetings are held on the last Wednesday of each month at the Hibiscus Conference Room at the Cayman Islands Hospital.  

 

For more information, call 929-1655 or email [email protected] 

freba gray davidson

Frena Gray-Davidson will run four workshops in Cayman for Alzheimer’s caregivers. – PHOTO: FILE
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