My name is Peter and I first became aware of Ceartas when my late wife, Cathy, was diagnosed with vascular dementia. I was advised by the GP to contact Ceartas as they would be able to help Cathy and I plan ahead and provide information on the practical issues related to a diagnosis.
I visited Ceartas and met with Susie, one of the Advocacy Workers. With Susie’s support and the information she provided I was able to set up Power of Attorney for Cathy. Susie also made me aware of the services of the Citizens Advice Bureau who provided me with financial advice and information.
Cathy and I also attended the dementia group that Ceartas and the Woodlands Centre run. I found this group extremely helpful and from these meetings we then started to attend the monthly De Cafe meetings that Ceartas run in Kirkintilloch Baptist Church. I found these meetings very beneficial as I learned more about Dementia from other people who attended the café.
Unfortunately, Cathy deteriorated to a point where she needed long-term care. This situation was completely new to me and seemed like an absolute minefield. As I was already involved with Ceartas I spoke to staff about what was happening and a referral was taken for Cathy.
Gemma, one of the Advocacy Workers with Ceartas, called to say that she would be working with Cathy and she met with us both at home to discuss her role for Cathy. Unfortunately, Cathy’s communication was very limited by her dementia so Gemma attended review meetings on Cathy’s behalf which also acted as a support for me.
I feel having an Advocacy Worker was invaluable for Cathy and I also took a great deal of support from the service. Gemma was always there for Cathy and I knew if there was something I didn’t understand Gemma or someone at Ceartas would always be there to help. It made a huge difference when Ceartas became involved because I felt more comfortable going through this process with someone more knowledgeable than myself. The information, support and knowledge that Ceartas provided helped immensely.