HELPING HAND: Carer Marian Johnston, front, with Keyworker Group Services Clarence Valley Community Programs Paula Wiles, back
HELPING HAND: Carer Marian Johnston, front, with Keyworker Group Services Clarence Valley Community Programs Paula Wiles, back

A funding boost for CVCP expos

By EMMA CORNFORD ecornford@dailyexaminer.com.au

WHEN Marian Johnston's husband got in the car, hit the accelerator and couldn't understand why it wouldn't move, she knew something was wrong.

It turned out he was in the early stages of dementia and Mrs Johnston soon gave up work to become a full-time carer as his condition deteriorated.

Despite a background in community nursing, Mrs Johnston did not know where she could get help ? an issue which many carers experience and one Clarence Valley Community Programs (CVCP) hopes to address through its dementia expos.

The organisation yesterday received $11,513 in Federal Government funding to stage the expos, which Mrs Johnston said would be helpful for anyone in her position.

"One of the hardest parts is admitting you need help, because you have your pride and your independence," she said.

"Once it got to the point I couldn't even leave him at home to go to the corner store I felt extremely isolated.

"He was a prisoner in his head with this disease and I was almost a prisoner caring for him (so) the services that (CVCP) provided were so helpful."

In the 18 months that she cared for her husband before he was moved to a nursing home, Mrs Johnston utilised the in-house and evening respite care programs, and the community bus which took her husband to the day centre at Sunshine House.

"I also used the carers' support group which was great. These services make life a lot easier."

CVCP chief executive officer Michael Foley said the purpose of the expos, which look set for November, was to help carers and those with early memory loss.

"Hopefully carers will know a bit of what they will be going through ... and for early sufferes it a case of letting them know what can de- lay the onset of dementia."



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