Dementia help on offer at new group

A new group for English-speaking families facing the challenges of dementia is to be launched on October 16.

Volunteers from the Association France Alzheimer Dordogne will be starting Halte Relais in Eymet, Dordogne, every third Wednesday of the month from 14.30 onwards.

It will offer the chance to meet volunteers from the association, who can give advice on how to get help from the French system, meet other carers, exchange views, play games and get general support.

Meetings will be held at the Résidence de Personnes Agées, Le Cluzel, Eymet.

A grant from the Paris headquarters of Association France Alzheimer has made the launch possible. The national association is aware of the growing number of English-speaking people facing dementia and it is easier for them to have groups in their own language.

Association France Alzheimer Dordogne vice-president Chris Grasby said a new group in Eymet would be helpful as it is an area with a large British population.

The association has run an English-language support group in Bergerac for six years and is developing a network of helpers across the department.

He said: “We think it is likely that carers often do not come forward in the early days for fear their spouse will see what the future holds for them or that it may just be too much trouble.

“A British couple we first knew about in 2014 came to Groupe Anglophone in Bergerac for the first time recently.

“The wife was not in a good state, very tearful and almost at the end of her patience.

“We really hope the new group will persuade English speakers to participate early, to share their problems and lighten the burden of the disease.”

The association would like to employ an English-speaking psychologist at the Halte Relais.

Contact Chris Grasby at  for details.

There are also English-speaking groups at Orne: email Terry Wright at , and Paris: Wendy Stern 06 15 25 18 13 .

Association France Alzheimer has wide-ranging support and is always happy to help.

English translations of some of its useful information are available at the Bergerac, Orne and Paris groups.

Telephone the Dordogne group on 05 53 27 30 34 for help and advice.

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