‘I have seen a lot of people who look after a dementia patient become sick and even die’ – Joan Woolard

Ernest Ormond with a picture of his late wife, Margaret, who had dementia.
Ernest Ormond with a picture of his late wife, Margaret, who had dementia.
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Carers in Holbeach who look after relatives 24/7 will get extra support each month in response to a growing need.

Littlebury Patients Participation Group (LPPG Outreach) is extending its drop-in sessions from once a month on Mondays to twice monthly, beginning on Wednesday.

Treasurer Joan Woolard said: “Our aim is to provide relief from the isolation of caring for someone at home or from the loneliness of being unable to get out and mix socially through disability.”

The group is one of a number in the county offering support to carers – and with life expectancy increasing, the need is expected to grow.

Census statistics covering the past 12 years reveal there are almost six million unpaid carers in the UK – representing one in eight adults.

Mrs Woolard said: “I have seen a lot of people who look after a dementia patient become sick and even die because they become totally drained looking after a dementia sufferer.”

In May last year, 78-year-old grandmother Florence Thomson, of Long Sutton, was spared a prison sentence after she cracked under the pressure of being the sole carer for her husband, Keith, who had Alzheimers and repeatedly plunged a carving knife into his chest.

Eric Ormond (78) was retired from the Army when his wife, Margaret, was diagnosed with dementia aged 64 and he cared for her until she died four years later.

Mr Ormond, a founder member of the Lincolnshire Carers’ Association, who volunteers at a similar group to the one at Holbeach in Sutton Bridge, said: “It was heartbreaking to see my wife start to lose her memory and get confused.

“I sometimes had to apologise to members of the public when I tried to take her into town and seemed harsh when she refused to get out of the car. Meeting others going through the same thing is a huge help.”

Monthly LPPG Outreach drop-in sessions are run at Holbeach Youth Club from 10am on the last Monday and second Wednesday. Sutton Bridge Carers’ Luncheon Club meets on the second Wednesday at the Constitutional Club at 11.30am.