Press release -
New course helps carers of stroke survivors in Central Bedfordshire
Carers looking after stroke survivors living in Central Bedfordshire are being offered advice and support on a new five week course being run by the Stroke Association.
The Caring and You course starts on 17 January at The Rufus Centre in Flitwick. The course provides carers with information about stroke and advice on how to look after the needs of stroke survivors as well as how to look after their own health and wellbeing. It also an opportunity to meet with other carers in the same position.
Thanks to a grant from Central Bedfordshire Council, places are free to local residents caring for a stroke survivor. A second course will start in February at a different venue. Carers interested in attending should sign-up fast as places are limited.
Sara Betsworth, Head of Stroke Support at the Stroke Association said: “Over a third of stroke survivors in the UK are dependent on others for their care. We want stroke survivors and their carers to know that they don’t have to face stroke alone, we are here to support them.
“When a stroke strikes, it’s not just the survivor that is affected but their loved ones too. A stroke can happen in an instant so family members and friends can then find themselves in a caring role almost over-night.
“Caring for a stroke survivor can be very rewarding, but it can also be exhausting and isolating and such a sudden and unexpected change in lifestyle can come as a huge shock. We hope this course will not only provide carers with the information and advice they need to care for their loved one, but also the support they need to protect their own health and wellbeing because carers need caring for too.”
Ann Layton, 66, from Ampthill, understands the pressures and concerns family members face when caring for someone who has had a stroke. She has been a carer for husband Les, 68, since 2010 following two major strokes, which left him unable to speak and move his right side.
Ann said, “Our lives were turned upside down after Les had his two strokes. As well as major problems with speaking, Les has had to learn to do everything with his left hand so straight away he became reliant on me for everything he needed on a daily basis.”
“My main motivation has always been to keep Les in his own home rather than residential care, which we’ve been able to do. We have been married for 45 years, so of course I do everything I can for him - it’s just what you do for the person you love”
“What I’ve learnt from the experience is that as a carer, it’s so important to take care of yourself physically and mentally too. I do exercise classes, walk to town and have coffee with a friend every other day and practice mindfulness. If you don’t look after yourself, how can you look after someone else?”
The first Caring and You course starts on 17 January from 10.00 to 13:00 and will run every Thursday for five weeks at The Rufus Centre, Flitwick. To enrol contact Sue Thompson on 01582 690984 or email email@example.com. For more information about the support by the charity to people affected by stroke visit www.stroke.org.uk