"talkdementia.uk" may sound like a national charity organisation, but actually we are just Heather and Paul, who together with a small group of dedicated local volunteers regularly work through our dementia cafes to try and help others who find themselves unexpectedly thrust into the world of unpaid dementia carer - having to deal with all of the life-changing events that occur when someone you love begins to have to live with dementia.
Why do we do this? - Both of us have lost our respective husband and wife to dementia and discovered along the way that the support out there for us as carers, was at the best, minimal and at the worst, non-existent. We were never given training, or provided with additional levels of patience, energy, understanding, empathy or resilience. Having been handed a diagnosis of dementia by a medical professional, it seemed to us that "Dementia" was an illness that existed outside of the usual NHS resource - Our family and friends struggled to understand, the support from our GP was well meant, but very limited and we really felt cast adrift to have to fend for ourselves.
Our partners were confused and scared of the future - and for us as carers It was a frightening experience too - one that we now know other people are having to deal with - so if we can help those people by sharing our experience of caring for our loved one - then that is why we do this.
We are a small voluntary group existing financially via fundraising events, small grants and support from local organisations such as The W.I. alongside the goodwill of people who donate a small amount to help us do what we do.
We work alongside the medical professionals and charities locally to offer support that we believe is needed, because to be able to talk to someone who "gets it" because they have actually experienced all of the emotions and difficulties that you are personally facing as a carer for your loved one, is a resource that we both desperately needed at the time, but sadly never had. - If we can make a small difference by sharing our own experience, then this is why we do this.
We have found that one of the best ways to achieve this is through the gateway of a dementia friendly cafe environment.
So we run four cafes locally in Wellesbourne, Tysoe, Shipston-on-Stour and Compton Verney. Through these cafes and hopefully through the other information available on this website, which is being constantly updated, we can help others who are traveling the road we both travelled over the last few years.
We are both very fortunate people, we have both loved other partners for a greater part of our life and then discovered that we had so much in common we actually fell in love again - and now we are married. This journey, although painfully difficult has brought us together - and together we make quite a formidable team !
Thank you so much for visiting our website...
If you require more information please contact us.
If you would like to volunteer to help at one of our cafes, please call us for a chat.
If you feel that you can help with a small donation please click on the button on the home page of this site.
Heather and Paul 😊😊