Ten years ago in September 2010 a group of family carers met each other to form what became the Sudbury Dementia Carers Support group. What was common among us all was the following:

• None of us expected our loved ones to be living with dementia;
• None of us expected to be a carer;
• None of us knew anything about dementia and how it would affect our loved ones, never mind be trained in it;
• None of us knew anything about the complications that could arise from how dementia impacted on (changed our) loved ones, including other existing health conditions (co-morbidities), physical impacts (e.g. continence issues), mental impacts (e.g. challenging behaviours and no longer recognising home) … ;
• None of us knew anything about the intricacies of the GP and NHS system, Social Services and benefits system;
• None of us knew anything about how our loved ones dementia would impact on our relationships within the family and with friends;
• None of us knew anything about how dementia would impact on our own working lives;
• None of us knew about the mental, physical and emotional pressures we were facing and would continue to face in the future;
• None of us knew the importance of the Carers Information and Support programme until we had attended it; and
• None of us expected to meet each other.

To find out more about how the Sudbury and Wembley groups came about here is the 4-part series compiled by me, Frank Arrojo.

Part 1: Coming Together
Part 2: Learning the Ropes
Part 3: What You Learn by Listening
Part 4: We Have Only Scratched the Surface.

Finally, if you are caring for a loved one with dementia and would like advice and support please feel free to contact me.

Frank Arrojo
Sudbury & Wembley Dementia Carers Support Groups
Supporting family and other unpaid carers of people with dementia in North-West London for over 10 years

Mobile 07867 903917
Email frankj.arrojo@gmail.com