Making Space

5/5 based on 4 reviews
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It is now over a year since I first attended the Dementia Café with my partner. Although I had heard about the café, for various reasons I put off going. When I did eventually pluck up the courage to go I realised how silly I was not to have gone earlier. Your café provides information, compassion, friendship, warmth and a shoulder to cry on. It is a joyful place where people with dementia and their carers can relax in a happy caring environment for two hours with you, your wonderful staff and volunteers. On entering the café one is met by lovely warm smiles from you and your team followed immediately by either tea or coffee and biscuits. Nothing is too much trouble for you. The talks and entertainment you provide for us are excellent and thanks to the talk by Health Call Home Opticians last month, I was able to get them to test his eyes – no easy job but they managed and now he is awaiting new spectacles. Recently you have been given a year’s funding to promote a friends sitting service for carers. I have been lucky to be one of the recipients of this service, which has teamed me up with a lovely lady. Now I am able to go out for three hours every month on a Thursday night. It is wonderful and knowing that he is in such good hands I leave with an easy mind. What I am really trying to say to you in this letter is well done for starting the Dementia Café where, for people like me and many other carers, it is a safe haven and a place of comfort where we can escape to for two hours away from our scary and unpredictable lives. As the café is going from strength to strength, I do hope the sitting service does the same as it is something else that makes life much more bearable for me and other carers like me. Once again I would like to say well done to you and your staff and all the volunteers. Many thanks from one grateful and appreciative carer.
As you know my partner has been in full-time residential care now for nine months. During this time I have had a chance to reflect on the past six years since Paul was diagnosed with Alzheimers Disease and I felt compelled to write to you and let you know how much we benefited from the Dementia Café. We had reached the stage where we were both very isolated. I couldn’t go out and leave him and as he was unable to manage in toilets etc. many places were closed to us. It was very difficult to think of things to do at home and we were feeling very low. When the Dementia Café opened in Tottington it was like a breath of fresh air. We could go together and feel perfectly safe, understood and supported. It was partly a social activity where we had lots of fun joining in activities. We got help and advice from others who were in the same boat and we felt a real sense of belonging. It certainly enabled both of us to have a full and happy life. I continue to benefit from the people I meet there. Whenever I am feeling low I only have to pick up the phone and I have someone to share my sorrows. I only hope that your work can continue so that other people may benefit in the way that we have benefited.
I thought I would just let you have some feedback with regard to “Making Space” as I have been using the service since May. As a carer for my mother, who has dementia, I do appreciate any kind of support and the means to have some quality time of my own. Making Space has been able to provide me help in this area.

Currently, Making Space look after my mum every third Thursday in the month. This allows me two hours on this evening to attend church where I take a small study group. My sister and I have also taken Mum to the Dementia Café in Tottington Library, although Mum now attends Pinfold Day Centre every Tuesday.

Your staff have also been very supportive and I know I can phone them at any time for help and advice. They have offered to sit with Mum if I need to go anywhere special at the weekend.

I have valued this service as I currently pay once a week for another service. However, I can only afford to pay 2 and a half hours at present so the help from Making Space has been very much appreciated as it literally allows me to have some space.

I wish you every success and very much hope that it can continue.
Just wanted to say a big thank you for your support in taking Mum to the Memory Management Group meetings. It was a great help to us both.
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