Caring for a person with dementia can be challenging both physically and emotionally. It can be a round-the-clock job with little support; finding time for yourself can be a struggle, and carers often feel isolated.
Faced with these sorts of problems, a Staffordshire doctor whose husband was suffering from dementia approached the SVP branch in her local parish of St Joseph and St Etheldreda. With the support of the parish priest and her health visitor, they set up Dementia Companions - a volunteer group providing respite breaks for carers in the community as well as visiting people with dementia in residential homes.
Dementia Companions are now working with a number of parishes (both with and without SVP members) to set up other Dementia Companions groups across the country. This includes Methodist and Anglican parishes in addition to Catholic parishes.
The Tablet published an article about the volunteer group - read it here.