New Cupar group for Dementia carers

The group have met up a couple of times already.
The group have met up a couple of times already.

A new support network for people caring for a family member or friend with dementia has been set up in Cupar.

Around eight people have been attending the new Purple Hearts, meeting at Watts once per month to swap stories and advice.

The group was set up in late 2018 after the members met at a seminar on the disease, and has met twice since.

The meetings are informal and held in a private room at Watts, where the members have a drink and chat.

It allows them to share their stories with people who have had similar experiences.

The members are now encouraging other people who care for people with dementia to come along.

One of the organisers, Susan Kelly, whose father has Alzheimer’s, said the purpose of the group was to speak to other people who “know what they’re going through”.

“I’ve wanted to be part of a support group for a while now,” she explained.

“I’ve found that not a lot of my friends have close family with the illness. They didn’t know what I was going through.

“At the meeting, people can share their experiences. We can give them encouragement that they are in a normal place.”

Figures released in 2017 estimated that there are 6661 people in Fife with dementia – and that number is expected to rise in the future.

Almost two-thirds of those suffering from the disease are women.

Around 2369 men had the disease, compared to 4292 women.

Susan said the group could the “best therapy” for some people, as it allowed them to be honest about the impact of the illness.

“I feel as though I’m helping others and it’s a great way to express yourself,” she explained.

“You’re not embarrassed to talk about what your family members have done. It’s good to talk about what’s like. It’s good to discuss it with people who can empathise with you.”

Dates for the group have now been organised as far ahead as June.

The meetings take place at Watts every third Wednesday of the month, beginning at 7.30pm.