Maranoa Carers’ Support Group

A safe and supportive environment for carers, addressing the effects of cognitive impairment and navigational health services for both early stages and advanced symptoms.

The task of caring for a person at home often falls to a spouse, close relative or a friend. The challenge of managing the early symptoms and stages of a dementia diagnosis can be overwhelming, especially considering the cognitive impairment, confusion, and behavioural changes that come with it. It’s a complex and demanding relationship often made more difficult through a lack of understanding and support.

Memory impairment, a symptom of cognitive decline, often appears in the early stages of neurodegenerative conditions such as dementia. This can cause confusion and forgetfulness, affecting communication and behaviour. People of any age can be impacted, although the likelihood increases with age. It is the health and wellbeing outcome that many families fear most.

Family members often find their life is no longer their own, as their relationships are put on hold and their leisure time gradually disappears. The people most likely to know how to help and understand how you are feeling are those who have had similar experiences.

Enter the Maranoa Carers’ Group. We’re all about providing a safe and supportive environment for carers, addressing the effects of cognitive impairment and navigational health services for both early stages and advanced symptoms. We offer a place for carers to have a break, take some time for themselves, and get to know others in similar situations. We meet every fourth Monday of the month, from 12pm to 2:30pm (including a light lunch), and we provide respite care for the client if needed.

The Maranoa Carers’ Group provides an invaluable opportunity for participants to share experiences, feel understood, and learn about memory and neurodegenerative disorders. It also addresses the role of both confounding confusion and forgetfulness and constructive communication in these stages.

  • Enjoy some time out and meaningful conversation about the world outside of caregiving
  • Learn more about the challenges of caregiving, and possible strategies from other carers
  • Share experiences with others in a safe and supportive environment
  • Make new friends
  • Assist and encourage one another
  • Access relevant information on various topics from engaged speakers

For more information about meeting dates and times, contact us on 03 8809 4979. If the phone is unattended, please leave your name and contact details so we can return your call as soon as possible.

A word from Trudi, a Maranoa Carers’ Group member

“The Carer Support Group is a valuable opportunity to meet people who are in a similar situation to yourself. It stops isolation, gets you out of the house and helps form new friendships. The meetings aren’t structured; they are quite informal. On many occasions we have speakers come and chat to the group about a variety of topics, including dementia, the availability of respite or full-time care, the challenges of age-specific health conditions, and the finances involved. It’s also important to mention that without Faye Drummond’s management the group would not be the same. She is invaluable.”

The Challenges of Caring

Like most demanding jobs, being a family carer comes with its own rewards and satisfactions. There are a number of opportunities to learn new skills and prove to yourself that you can meet new challenges. You can strengthen a relationship with the person you care for, and know that you have helped someone who needs it and by improving their quality of life. But the challenges of being a carer are significant, and can quickly become overwhelming if we try to ignore them.

Caring for a person with dementia can be stressful, demanding, and exhausting. It’s a role that doesn’t allow much time for self-care, which is why so many caregivers experience burnout. Exposure to prolonged periods of stress, as well as physical and emotional exhaustion, can leave caregivers feeling overwhelmed and unappreciated. These are perfectly normal reactions to the role of caregiver, but that doesn’t mean you have to go it alone. There is help and support.

Respite services, such as what we offer at Maranoa House, are as beneficial to the person receiving the care as they are to the person giving it. In the face of confusion and forgetfulness, those with dementia are given the rare opportunity to socialise with others in a different environment and get involved in a variety of activities. For the carer, they get the invaluable prospect of ‘me time’, whether that is doing some shopping, reading a book, catching up with friends, or simply running some errands.