Woodend Lifestyle Carers Group
Established in March 2012 Woodend Lifestyle Carers Group (WLCG) is a volunteer group of carers who look after their loved ones suffering from memory loss caused through dementia, or through Parkinson's Disease, stroke or other brain injury. The group has grown from the original three couples, to over 50 and continues to grow.
Although originally intended as a support group for carers only, it soon became evident that while carers needed some time out, they also enjoyed the company of their loved ones on a social level, and therefore it was agreed in mid-2012 that the group should meet once a month for everyone and once a month for carers only.
WLCG encourages members to take part in both social and educational activities in the full knowledge that their situation will be listened to without judgement, understood with compassion, and supported with humour. Members are encouraged to take part in the laughter and the tears of comparing their everyday experiences.
The group is supported by educational visits of consultants from Alzheimer's Australia, Victoria and Carers Victoria, as well as local nursing and aged care administrastive representatives. These visits aim to assist carers to understand more about their loved-ones' condition; what to expect in the future, and particularly how to maintain communication to ease the way for both carer and care recipient and their family and friends. Carers learn that “it's OK to say No”; that it's normal to grieve for the loss of the person they fell in love with, or who have been a loving parent; and importantly that it is vital they care for themselves and have 'me' time. Meetings throughout the year also cover legal matters, information sessions on where and how to apply for assistance and to establish what their entitlements are. Where to find it, and what help there is available can be a very confusing issue.
GPs and health professionals understand and encourage the support given by WLCG and our brochures are available in all Medical Centres in the Macedon Ranges.