Housebound carers at the centre of new Sidmouth Hospiscare project

PUBLISHED: 18:00 05 April 2018 | UPDATED: 08:34 06 April 2018

Gill Ryall of Sidmouth Hospiscare and Admiral Nurse Heidi Crook team up. Ref shs 13 18TI 0307. Picture: Terry Ife

Gill Ryall of Sidmouth Hospiscare and Admiral Nurse Heidi Crook team up. Ref shs 13 18TI 0307. Picture: Terry Ife

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Sid Valley charities are teaming up to provide respite for carers who have become housebound looking after loved-ones living with advanced dementia.

Gill Ryall of Sidmouth Hospiscare and Admiral Nurse Heidi Crook team up. Ref shs 13 18TI 0303. Picture: Terry IfeGill Ryall of Sidmouth Hospiscare and Admiral Nurse Heidi Crook team up. Ref shs 13 18TI 0303. Picture: Terry Ife

Sidmouth Hospiscare says it is willing to train a group of its volunteer ‘sitters’ and ‘befrienders’ and combine its expertise with the ‘amazing’ work of the Sid Valley Memory Café and its Admiral Nurse to address the town’s growing needs.

It comes as statistics show Sidmouth has the highest estimate percentage of people living with dementia, according to a Devon-wide study. Sidmouth Hospiscare’s CEO Dr Gill Ryall says the numbers are expected to increase significantly with the valley’s growing elderly population.

Dr Ryall said: “Sidmouth Hospiscare already provides support for people in the Sid Valley with life-limiting illnesses, including some with dementia.

“Heidi [Crook, the Admiral Nurse] does an amazing job ensuring that carers have the confidence, knowledge and practical help to be able to support their loved-one in the best way.

Gill Ryall of Sidmouth Hospiscare and Admiral Nurse Heidi Crook team up. Ref shs 13 18TI 0307. Picture: Terry IfeGill Ryall of Sidmouth Hospiscare and Admiral Nurse Heidi Crook team up. Ref shs 13 18TI 0307. Picture: Terry Ife

“By providing additional training to a group of our volunteer sitters and befrienders, we can help to ensure that the carers in most need have sufficient respite time to look after themselves and stay connected within the community.”

Heidi Crook, the Sid Valley’s Admiral Nurse, said: “We’re looking at those who have become effectively housebound by their caring role, due to either the carer, or person with dementia, being less mobile, therefore meaning they don’t get a break from caring.

“This new initiative with Sidmouth Hospiscare will provide welcome support to the carers I already support on a regular basis.”

Members of the Sidmouth Health and Care Forum have also discussed the issue, as people living with advanced dementia are admitted regularly to Sidmouth Hospital due to their carers needing respite.

Duncan Watt, chairman of the Sid Valley Memory Café, added: “This new initiative will provide additional support for those carers in most need, enhancing quality of life and enabling people to remain at home for as long as possible.”

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