The Hunter Centre in Haslemere this week reopened its doors, offering people with dementia and alzheimers a lifeline for interaction and socialisation, after months in lockdown. It also offers respite to their carers; some of whom have found it increasingly difficult to watch their loved ones deteriorate during this time.
Jill Sandham, a carer whose husband is a client at the centre says, ‘Hugh was attending the Hunter Centre two days a week before lockdown. The last 4 months have been hard for people with dementia – regular trips out, seeing people and mental stimulation all help to keep the brain active. I have definitely noticed this affecting Hugh, who has become more withdrawn and frustrated. He has hardly seen anyone but me or gone out of the home. Most of all he has missed the regular fantastic activities and enjoyment which he gets from the Centre. And I have missed the weekly welcome breaks from caring which enable me to do a bit of work and see friends and family and have a rest. We are both so delighted it is reopening’
Established in 2017 to fill a void left by the Alzheimers Society, the charity works with people in Haslemere and the surrounding towns who are living with the illness, and heavily supports their carers by offering peer to peer sessions to talk with other people in their situation. The charity ultimately provides a place where carers feel able to safely leave their loved ones for some much-needed respite.
With other centres in Surrey and Hampshire not reopening till the new year, staff at the Hunter Centre are eager to ensure that their clients are kept safe and make certain they remain open to service the community.
Elaine Clement, our Centre Manager said of the opening “The first day back went brilliantly – all the clients who attended were pleased to see us and our staff wearing PPE didn’t seem to faze anyone or prevent them from enjoying their day.”
For dementia support and more information, please contact Elaine Clement, Operations Manager on 01428 654710, email firstname.lastname@example.org