Fiona Phillips Alzheimer's Documentary22nd January 2009
"The moving documentary presented by Fiona Philips, screened Monday evening on Channel 4 demonstrated the plight of the many thousands of ordinary people from across the UK who are left feeling isolated and unsupported in the most difficult of circumstances.
"The programme showed the terrible physical and emotional impact Alzheimer's has on both those diagnosed and their families - who often bear the brunt of the required care regime with little or no support.
"This is made more difficult due to the fact that despite there being drugs available which will slow down the onset of symptoms, these will not be made available until a diagnosis is given and often the diagnosis will only take place at a very late stage.
"Alzheimer's is incurable, degenerative and terminal, in its early stages symptoms can include memory loss and confusion but over time other symptoms may emerge including irritability, aggression, mood-swings and language problems. In the latter stages they will need help with all their daily activities. In many cases carers - often husbands, wives or children are left watching their loved ones fade away.
"EPP offers invaluable support to the families of those people caring for mothers, fathers or others. We run a free course called 'Looking after Me'
aimed at developing self management skills, enabling carers to take control of the situation, not forgetting to make important time for themselves. They also learn how to look after their own health and can make friends with other people who are in a similar situation.
"EPP offers a six-week course run by trained and accredited tutors who have direct experience of being a carer themselves and are able to offer practical, useful advice.
"The course will help carers develop more effective relationships with health and care professionals, provide insight into the impact of caring in themselves and the family and benefit those people being cared for through shared skills and techniques. The course also offers what can be a vital lifeline to other people in similar situations.
"I would urge anyone who is helping care for a relative or friend to find out more about the courses we run or even to consider becoming an EPP tutor themselves so that they can help others who may be in a similar situation - full training is provided."
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