Respite break for carers

A Co Galway carers’ support group recently organised a respite break for its members

The “Cope with Friends” group, which is based in Portumna, arranged a meal at Dyson’s Restaurant in the town.

“This was a great opportunity to offer carers a well-deserved break from their caring role and they had a very enjoyable, relaxing and memorable time,” said its chairperson Michael Conway.

The group is for people caring for someone with a mental health problem. It brings carers together socially and offers them an opportunity to discuss in confidence issues of concern to them. Two health professionals attend meetings to ensure that appropriate support, assistance and advice is available.

Eithne Madden, community mental health nurse at Castleoaks’ Day Hospital stated the support group is for informal carers who are caring for people, often family members, with a mental health problem, such as depression.

“The aim of the meetings is not only to gain information, but also to be a medium of relaxation and a respite break for the carer.”

Ann Heagney, clinical nurse specialist, behavioural therapy at Castleoaks Day Hospital, explained the group was established in response to an need highlighted by carers.

“The carer support group is ‘member led’ and therefore essentially the direction the group takes is decided by the carers who share the common experience.”

Monthly meetings were suspended for the summer but will resume on Tuesday September 22 at 7.30pm at the Social Services Day Care Centre, Castle Avenue, Portumna.

The group normally meets on the fourth Tuesday of each month at the Social Services Day Care Centre in Portumna at 7.30pm. New members who are caring for a person with a mental health problem are welcome. For further information contact Eithne Madden or Ann Heagney at Castleoaks Day Hospital, Portumna at 090 975 9885.

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