A new dementia programme has hit a milestone figure - training 100 people to help them have better conversations with their loved ones living with the disease.
Mum-of-two Marie Cowley became the 100th trainee, coinciding with this year’s Dementia Awareness Week, which had a theme of ‘Let’s Talk About Dementia’.
The 42-year-old heard about the new Empowered Conversations training programme from a social worker, who was working with her mum, Eileen, at the time.
Eileen is living with vascular dementia and Marie wanted to learn how to communicate better with her mum, who was diagnosed in 2015.
The free course, which has been funded by the Big Lottery Fund, is being rolled out across all ten boroughs in Greater Manchester to family carers to enable people to communicate better with loved ones living with dementia or with those in their care.
Marie, who lives in Ramsbottom, attended training in Bolton where she grew up and her mum still lives.
"The training was amazing. I enjoyed being part of a group. Knowing I was not on my own with my thoughts and the situation that I was in with mum was reassuring and I didnt feel as isolated."
She said: “The training was amazing. I enjoyed being part of a group. Knowing I was not on my own with my thoughts and the situation that I was in with mum was reassuring – and I didn’t feel as isolated.
“It felt like a bomb had gone off in my head when mum was diagnosed and you end up being in your own little bubble. But the training gave me techniques to have better conversations with her and I learnt how to enjoy our time together better.”
Empowered Conversations was founded by Dr Phil McEvoy from the social enterprise Six Degrees, based in Salford. The course has been able to get off the ground thanks to £350,000 from the Big Lottery Fund.
He said: “I am delighted to have reached the 100th course attendee milestone. It is a significant figure and we hope many more people will benefit from the course. It is a practical approach that helps family carers to stay connected with their loved ones.”
To mark the milestone, Empowered Conversations took part in a spectacular water sports event at Salford Quays during Dementia Awareness Week (May 14-20).
For more information on courses in your area and how to enrol email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0161 212 4981 and like our Facebook page: Empowered Conversations.
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