Group a huge help

FURTHER to the report about the Witterings Men’s Carers Group in the Observer recently, when my disabled wife and I decided to move back to Midhurst about two years ago it was a very difficult time. We had total care arrangements in place at our previous home but found everything was very different when we moved to West Sussex.

We found it hard to achieve the success we had previously and I personally found it very frustrating trying to get the necessary arrangements in place.

After a few months, I received a letter from Louise Spong from the Carers Support Service Regis, Chichester and Rural, inviting me to come along to a new group for carers being set up in the Midhurst area.

We have now had several meetings, and on each occasion there has been the opportunity to exchange ideas and information with other carers. For example, during the first meeting I was very interested to learn of any residential homes for my wife to attend for respite purposes. Another member recommended some to me. I have now visited three homes and as a result now found a suitable one.

At another meeting we discussed the free emergency respite scheme and carers emergency alert card that many of the group did not know about.

Any issue can be discussed at the meetings, from nursing homes, medication, how to source practical equipment to personal feelings and situations. The more carers that attend the greater the exchange of ideas and personal thoughts, and I would urge anyone who is looking after a relative, friend or neighbour in the Midhurst area to come along.

The group meets at St Ann’s Centre, St Ann’s Hill, Midhurst, every second Tuesday of the month starting at 11am. The meetings usually last about an hour and a half and the success of the group very much depends on its membership. We are all extremely friendly and supportive, there is no set agenda and everything that is discussed is treated confidentially.

The Carers Support Service Regis, Chichester and Rural can be contacted on 01243 537011.

Jeremy Holroyd