Page last updated at 11:09 GMT, Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Dementia families offered breaks

Elderly patient in hospital gown
The charity said dealing was often an "intensive situation"

People in Cornwall struggling to care for a family member with dementia are to be offered more help by a charity.

The Shared Lives project is training volunteers so patients and carers can have breaks from their situations.

The South West Adult Placement Scheme (Swaps), which is running the project, said such breaks were often vital for families.

It is being tested in Newquay and could be extended to the rest of the county if it is a success.

Under the scheme, trained volunteers can provide care at patients' homes while their usual carers enjoy a short break.

You're watching your loved one's personality almost draining away from them
David Messenger, Shared Lives

Shared Lives co-ordinator David Messenger he said that rest breaks were needed because the illness was very often an "intensive situation".

He said: "With it, people forget how to eat, how to use the toilet.

"For carers, feeling you are not able to carry on anymore is very emotionally demanding.

"You're watching your loved one's personality almost draining away from them. They become a different person and that is upsetting on any level, let alone the person you love most in the world."

A report published by the Alzheimer's Society has criticised the amount of money being wasted by the NHS on looking after people with dementia.

Beverly Chapman, lead dementia nurse for the county's primary care trust said, it was following the scheme with interest to see how, if successful, it could benefit more people.

She said: "We've got to get all of our services right, hence we're looking at things like the Newquay pilot and liaison."

Print Sponsor

Dementia patient care criticised
17 Nov 09 |  Health
Memory not first Alzheimer's sign
13 Oct 09 |  Health
Money problems 'signal dementia'
21 Sep 09 |  Health
Infections 'speed memory loss'
07 Sep 09 |  Health
Alzheimer's genes link uncovered
06 Sep 09 |  Health
Recognition for dementia project
07 Jul 09 |  Cornwall

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2017 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific