Dementia course cares for the carers

Pauline Maclean, has used a DESK course. Picture: OX67754 Andrew Walmsley

Pauline Maclean, has used a DESK course. Picture: OX67754 Andrew Walmsley Buy this photo

First published in News Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Education Reporter, also covering West Oxford. Call me on (01865) 425437

A WOMAN who cares for her elderly mother said a course to help those who look after people with dementia was a “life saver” and has now urged others to sign up.

Pauline Maclean cares for her 90-year-old mother Ethel Henderson who suffers from the disorder.

She took part in the Dementia Care, Essential Skills and Knowledge (DESK) course, funded by Oxfordshire County Council.

The free course is run by independent dementia care trainer Catharine Arakelian and gives people a chance to learn about behaviour associated with dementia.

Mrs Maclean, 69, said: “When I came back from the course on the first day, my husband turned round to me and said I looked like a different woman. It had an immediate positive effect on me. It is very hard being a carer.”

As reported in yesterday’s Oxford Mail, this week is Carers Week, which aims to raise awareness of support available to those who look after loved ones.

Mrs Maclean’s mother started displaying symptoms about two years ago, but the family did not know about the course until six months ago.

Around 270 family carers who look after 185 people have used the course since it began in 2011.

It is thought around 7,500 people over the age of 65 in the county may have some form of dementia, with only a third being diagnosed.

• Our top stories:

E-fit released in connection with Wood Farm robbery

Oxford Mail:

12:34pm Sunday 26th April 2015

A MAN was punched after being forced to hand over his phone and cash to man on Wood Farm Road, police said.

UPDATE: Mayfair Road man appears in court on Barton murder charge as alleged victim is named as Wojciech Ryniak

Oxford Mail: oxford magistrates court

11:04am Saturday 25th April 2015

A MAN has today appeared in court charged with murder after a man was found with chest injuries in Barton late on Tuesday night.

Defibrillator campaign smashes its 200 target - now let's go for 500

Oxford Mail:

9:04am Saturday 25th April 2015

ONE man’s mission to get 200 more public defibrillators across Oxfordshire has smashed its target thanks to the Oxford Mail.

Barton man appears in court charged in connection with Mayfair Road incident

Oxford Mail: oxford magistrates court

1:56pm Saturday 25th April 2015

A MAN has today appeared in court charged with conspiracy to commit robbery and possession of a stun gun after an incident in Mayfair Road on Tuesday evening.

Oink: Warning to dog walkers as wild boar seen in Oxfordshire

Oxford Mail:

12:00pm Saturday 25th April 2015

WILD boar have been spotted in parts of Oxfordshire.

Randolph Hotel: Historically important parts largely unscathed by fire

Oxford Mail:

8:57am Saturday 25th April 2015

A CONSERVATION group has said historically important sections of The Randolph Hotel were left largely unscathed by last week’s major fire.

The county council spends £15,000 to fund the ten three-session courses.

Mrs Maclean, of Meadow Lane, Oxford, added: “I found the course incredibly beneficial as I was under quite a bit of strain as sole carer for my mum.

“I got lots of practical advice from Catharine and learnt a huge amount from other carers who were in similar situations.

“There is a really supportive and jolly atmosphere at the course and it really made a difference. I learnt so much about dementia as an illness and I learnt ways of dealing better with the challenging behaviour that my mother was displaying.

“One day, she was anxious about large writing in blue crayon on the carpet, there wasn’t any, of course.

“But instead of disagreeing with her, which would have been confrontational, I had learnt about diversionary tactics from Catharine, and moved swiftly to a different subject, which benefitted both my mum and me.”

Dementia care trainer Ms Arakelian said: “I encourage more than one person from a family to come along. Sharing the discussions and learning together often helps everyone to feel more positive about what they can do to help each other and their loved one.”

Councillor Judith Heathcoat, the county council’s cabinet member for adult social care, said: “Family carers do an excellent job in often very challenging and emotional circumstances and there are services out there like the Dementia Care, Essential Skills and Knowledge course which can offer valuable support.”

  • For more information and to book a place, call 07751 809271 or email admin@newdementiacare.org.uk The courses start at the Baptist Church, Kidlington High Street, on July 10 at 10am. Travel expenses and cost of providing replacement care while attending the course can be reclaimed from the council.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree