Support for dementia carers

Gordon Elshaw enjoys time spent at the Kinross Day Club.
Gordon Elshaw enjoys time spent at the Kinross Day Club.

Mr Elshaw has dementia and club activities, access to respite care and contact with the McCusker Nurse for support options help the couple cope.

Their roles reversed with Mr Elshaw’s diagnosis as he had been his wife’s carer for almost 30 years after a car accident left her disabled.

Mrs Elshaw, who has home help and supportive family and friends, said the day club her husband attended twice weekly had made all the difference.

While he enjoyed others’ company, activities and outings organised by co-ordinator Yvonne Pedersen, Mrs Elshaw could rest and continue voluntary work they had previously enjoyed together.

‘The staff are absolutely wonderful,’ she said.

‘I would be lost without them all, including the McCusker Nurse.

‘It’s good to have someone to call and support available without having to bother my family all the time.’

Amana Living chief executive Ray Glickman said research which showed the cities of Joondalup and Wanneroo ranked third and fourth respectively for the number of people per total population with dementia had prompted the action. The organisation’s first McCusker Nurse had targeted the northern suburbs and there were plans to develop Kinross Care Centre, where the day club is located.

‘The centre will be extended over the next two years to offer further services for those living with dementia,’ Mr Glickman said.

‘This will effectively create a hub of expertise and specialist care.’

Carers can call Kinross Day Club on 9305 6986 or the McCusker Nurse North on 9424 6396 for information.