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"You can talk to people in the same boat and you are always learning": Thetford dementia group offers support and advice for all

PUBLISHED: 07:39 15 April 2015

Thetford and District Dementia Group meet at Lord Walsingham Court

Thetford and District Dementia Group meet at Lord Walsingham Court

Archant

To look at the gathering at Lord Walsingham Court on Friday morning, you would think they were nothing more than friends meeting for a coffee and a chat.

Thetford and District Dementia Group meet at Lord Walsingham CourtThetford and District Dementia Group meet at Lord Walsingham Court

But sit down and talk with any of the friendly faces present, and it soon becomes clear the group is much more important.

This is a meeting of the Thetford and District Dementia Support Group, a chance for sufferers of dementia and carers to meet with experts and others in the same position to get advice and support.

One couple enjoying the day are Irene Hills and husband Michael, both 77.

Mrs Hills chats happily with newfound friends, but admits things were not so easy when she was diagnosed with dementia last year.

But with the help of the group, she is coming to terms with the condition: “It’s so helpful and you learn a lot about what you are going through.

“When you suffer with something it’s a shock to the system and it’s not something you talk to people outside about.

“But there are people here in the same position and they understand.”

Mr Hills said: “It’s excellent for carers. You can talk to people in the same boat and you are always learning.”

With cases of Alzheimer’s disease set to rise, dementia groups like the one in Thetford are becoming of increasing importance, according to Jo Mountjoy-Dixon, who led the committee which set up the group in September.

“The group stops people removing themselves from the outside world and it’s getting them out of that mindset of wanting to be isolated, because when they are here they are absolutely fine.

“Carers also find it extremely helpful, as they don’t have to go from week to week managing the situation, they can get advice and support here,” she said.

The group meets at Lord Walsingham Court, in Glebe Close, every Friday from 10am. Lunch is also available after the session.

For more information, contact Jo Mountjoy-Dixon on 07542 866519 or email demaction.thetford@gmail.com

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