Additional carer support coming to Loddon Mallee

A $10,000 State Trustees Australia Foundation grant will allow Uniting AgeWell to establish a new carer support group in the Loddon Mallee.

You're Not Alone - Carer Support Group will be the region’s first support group for carers of people with dementia.

The grant was part of the State Trustees Australia Foundation’s 2017 Grassroots Grants program, which provided $200,000 in grants to not-for-profit organisations that support individuals disadvantaged by ageing, disability and mental health.

Commencing in February, the group will meet once a month, allowing carers to share their stories, hear from guest speakers, and have a break from their caring roles in a welcoming environment.

Uniting AgeWell will provide members with information about services available to them and the person with dementia, and address key issues such as financial planning, elder abuse, My Aged Care, wellbeing strategies and respite services.

Uniting AgeWell Program Coordinator Kerry Egan said the support group’s overarching aim was to reduce levels of carer stress and provide the framework for self-facilitated carer support groups.

“Carer burden or stress is often the reason for hospitalisation or premature admission to residential care, therefore extra support for carers is paramount,” she said.

“This dementia-specific Carer Support Group will provide carers with the supports, practical strategies and networks they need to maintain their emotional health and wellbeing and enable them to continue to care for the person with dementia so that person can continue living at home.”

The group will be facilitated from Uniting AgeWell’s Seven Hills Respite House and Strath-Haven Community, Bendigo.