Place of support

A support group for carers of dementia patients meets at Emmerton Park Club House every four weeks. Among them are (front from left) carers Ruth Poke-Moore, Margaret Horton, Joyce Dean and Grace Heald, (back) volunteers Rhonda Flood and Annie Saville, support group coordinator Paul Borg, social worker Ivon Reuvers, Emmerton Park Club House coordinator Gaylene de Jonge, volunteer Dalveena Quilliam and clinical care coordinator Kristen Riley. Picture: Ashleigh Force. 

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Friendship. Caring for someone with a dementia diagnosis can be challenging, both physically and mentally. 

A support group for friends, family and carers of dementia sufferers meets at Emmerton Park Club House to provide a place for a cuppa and a chat. 

Open to all past or present carers of dementia patients, support group coordinator Paul Borg says many continue to attend sessions after loved ones have passed away.

“It’s a very close knit group, many come for the friendship,” he says.

“Anyone in the community is welcome. Anyone that knows someone with dementia or wants to know more about it.” 

Dementia Australia work closely with Emmerton Park to bring guest speakers and social workers to the group. 

“Our care coordinator program recognised carers in the community were struggling to look after themselves and needed a supportive avenue,” says Paul. 

“We cover all sorts of different topics relating to self care and management of their own mental health as well as bringing new methods of care and education to carers.” 

Among those to attend the group regularly are Ruth Poke-Moore and Grace Heald. 

“It explains a lot,” says Grace. “We’re always learning, they always have different speakers come along.” 

Ruth added the group has given her clarity: “There comes a time when you realise you have to step out and do what you want to do, care for yourself and learn to not feel guilty for that.” 

The support group meets every four weeks at Emmerton Park Club House from 12 to 1.30pm. The next meeting will be Wednesday July 4. Free to attend, participants are asked to bring a plate to share. For more information contact Emmerton Park on 6452 9400.

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