New service to support people affected by bereavement and loss in Wales

Sian Blackham, Regional Media Relations Manager, discusses how Alzheimer’s Society Cymru and Cruse Bereavement Care Cymru have united to support people with dementia and carers who are experiencing bereavement and loss.

Losing someone you love may be one of the hardest things you will ever face.

Bereavement and loss affects people differently and can be devastating. People with dementia, and those close to them, can experience bereavement at different stages from diagnosis through to a person’s death, and beyond. For some people, they may even experience feelings of loss and grief before diagnosis, as symptoms appear. Cognitive difficulties can also create unique challenges for people with dementia when a loved one dies.

It’s so important that support is available to help people cope with such a complex and emotional experience. That’s why in Wales, Alzheimer’s Society Cymru and Cruse Bereavement Care Cyrmu have united to support the needs of:

  • People with dementia who have lost a loved one or carer. 
  • People bereaved by someone with dementia.

The pioneering three-year project funded by Welsh Government aims to:

  • Raise awareness of bereavement and how it impacts mental and physical health. 
  • Improve access to support for bereaved people affected by dementia. 
  • Encourage self-help and peer support.

The new service will be delivered across Wales by specially trained volunteers providing face to face and telephone support for people affected by dementia who are bereaved. In addition to this, we will be offering training in bereavement support and dementia awareness to care homes, hospices, hospitals and other health and social care settings, along with a resource pack.

The first phase of volunteers have now completed their training and have begun to support people. However, we need to recruit more volunteers from across Wales to join the project over the next two years. The role is suitable for people over 18 and is flexible with a minimum commitment of two hours per week.

If you live in Wales, are affected by dementia and bereaved, you can refer yourself to the service or be referred by your GP, Alzheimer’s Society Cymru or Cruse Cymru.

For more information about this new service or volunteering opportunities with the project, please contact the project manager Maxine Norrish on [email protected] or 02920 886913.

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Brilliant initiative and very needed services. Hope they will be initiated/promoted in London as well. I know that bereavement and loss of a loved one especially one with a diagnosis of dementia, is daunting. Even when alive, it is a very difficult area to think about and talk about, especially because as carers we /I do not know where or how to begin to talk about it with our loved ones. How does it impact on the person who has Dementia? And many more questions. Will be watching the space keenly for more information. Best wishes to Wales Alzheimers Society and CRUSE.

I have just been reading more information on grief, loss and bereavement above. So very informative and useful, covering a lot of what I wanted to know. Thanks.

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