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Group for families supporting dementia care

By James Vukmirovic | Halesowen | Health | Published:

A new support group has been set up in the Black Country to help the families of those suffering with dementia.

Tony Billingham has invited people to a meeting about a new support group at Lapal House Care Home, Halesowen

The group, called Dementia Now, is based in Halesowen, but available to people across the West Midlands to access.

The group will be holding its first meeting on Thursday, November 7 at Lapal House in Halesowen, offering a place for people to come and air their feelings about caring for a family member suffering with dementia.

The group has been created by Tony Billingham, whose company Carlton Care own Lapal House and Grange Hill House care homes in Halesowen and Beechcroft Care Home in Oldbury.

Mr Billingham has been a leading figure in social care for over 50 years and was inspired to create the group after seeing the lack of support system available.

He said: "There's a lot of care out there for people suffering with varying levels of dementia, but I found there was no support system in place for the families after doing the research online.

"Relatives need help and support as well and I decided it would be a good idea to bring these families together to share their experiences with a support group of people going through the same issues."

Mr Billingham has seen first-hand the toll that caring for a family member with the condition can take, giving an example of a man who had sold his business, but after his diagnosis, kept going back to the business to work there, with his family struggling to look after him.

He said: "In my time as Area Director of Social Services in the Stratford on Avon area, I used to say to my social workers that if we don't give help to the people who are helping, we will end up with two people in care."

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The meeting will have representatives from Halesowen Business Improvement District team and other support staff present.

Mr Billingham says that he wants to see how many people will come to the first meeting before a decision is made as to the progress forward.

He said: "We want to see what interest there is first of all in the West Midlands, but there is scope to extend to a national support network if it is required."

The meeting takes place at Lapal House, Lapal Lane South, Halesowen on Thursday, November 7, starting at 6.30pm.

For more information, call Lyn on 0121 5501272 or 0121 5030326.

James Vukmirovic

By James Vukmirovic
Community Reporter - @jamesvukmirovic

Community Reporter at the Express & Star, helping under-represented communities to find a voice in Wolverhampton. Contact me at james.vukmirovic@expressandstar.co.uk.

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