FAMILIES of dementia sufferers are learning more about how it will change their loved ones at a free, specialist-support café.

Langford View Care Centre in Bicester runs the memory café for relatives to get expert support and information.

It was launched by Angie Williams, lead Admiral Nurse at the Orders of St John Care Trust (OSJCT) which runs Langford View, and is open to all the community.

She said: “We try to help them make sense of what is happening and some of the challenges that families face.

“Dementia is especially challenging for people as they watch their loved one’s memory, personality and behaviour alter as a result of the condition.

“It can be very hard to communicate with someone with dementia, it puts a strain on relationships and can cause huge emotional stress.

Gillian Brooks, 70, started attending the cafe to better understand how she could help her 95-year-old mother Jessie Spicer, diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.

“Coming to the café has really helped me in a big way. I feel I can talk about my mum, why she might behave a certain way, and how it makes me feel as well as things I can do that help both of us,” she said.

“I really wanted to talk to someone about my mum and what was happening to her. I wanted to know how it might progress and what we could expect in the future.

“Having Angie to talk to was invaluable. She is very approachable and was so nice and understanding.”

The Memory Café is held at Langford View, Coach House Mews, on the second Thursday of every month from 2pm to 4pm.

To find out more call 01869 252343.