New Derby group will help ex-carers adjust to life after dementia

June 2022 · 4 min read

Free pub lunches on offer thanks to donation from Toyota

A new Making Space group in Derby will help people who are no longer caring full-time for people with dementia adjust to their new lives.

The Next Chapter of Caring group, organised by our Derby City Dementia Service is a monthly group for people who are no longer carers of loved ones with dementia. Carers face enormous life changes when they lose their caring role, either because loved ones pass away or go to live in full-time residential care.

Mary Brown, who leads our dementia services in Derby says the group was created when the team noticed a “massive void” in the lives of former carers, but a gap in the services geared towards helping them to transition to their new circumstances.

The new group, which is held monthly in a pub in Mickleover, gives its members the opportunity to meet new people, build confidence, learn new skills, and even consider employment or volunteering.

A £2,000 donation from the Toyota Manufacturing UK Charitable Trust will fund lunches for the group for a full year.

Although only in its second month, the group has already welcomed 14 new members, and prompted four of them to volunteer to help others who are caring for people with dementia.

Mary said: “It’s incredibly difficult to go from caring for someone 24/7 then suddenly they’re not there.

“People have trouble finding their new identity and it can be more difficult for them as they struggle with bereavement, loneliness and isolation.

“We noticed that a lot of people who were no longer carers were still coming to our other groups, so we recognised that there was a real need to provide some support to help them move forward.

“We meet at a pub because it’s very difficult to slot back into a social life when you’ve been a full-time carer for a person with dementia.

“Carers who have been on their own for a long time might not feel comfortable walking into a pub for lunch. We provide an informal environment where people can eat, chat and socialise with others who understand what they’re going through.”

Janet Fisher has been attending the group since her husband Bill passed away. She had been a full-time carer for Bill, and the couple had previously attended other Making Space dementia groups together.

Janet said: "When Bill passed away and Mary and her team at Making Space invited me to the new former carers' group, I went along to see what it was all about.

“I found to my delight that it was a group of people who could talk to me about my experiences, give me lots of information about what to do next, and offer me a great many things to do in my spare time. They were everything I needed in help, companionship and laughter at a time when I needed them most.”

Derby Allotment 6

If you’re interested in attending the group, or would like to find out more about the support available for people with dementia and their carers in Derby, you can contact Derby City Dementia Service on 01332 497 640 or by emailing derbycity.dementia-service@makingspace.co.uk.



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