Alzheimer’s Society opens new office providing support and services

Mid and East Antrim Mayor Cllr Paul Reid pictured at the opening of the new Antrim/Ballymena offices in Cullybackey.
Mid and East Antrim Mayor Cllr Paul Reid pictured at the opening of the new Antrim/Ballymena offices in Cullybackey.

People and families affected by dementia in the Ballymena area will now be able to access support and services at Alzheimer’s Society new office in Cullybackey.

Alzheimer’s Society’s new office was officially opened by the Mid and East Antrim Mayor Paul Reid, who said: “I congratulate and thank those involved in delivering this crucial service which will be a real lifeline for everyone affected by dementia.”

Alzheimer’s Society was brought to the area in 2006 by Valerie Guthrie and her mother Margaret who both started a volunteer fundraising group for the charity just before Valerie’s father passed away with dementia in 2007. Valerie has been the Dementia Support Worker now for almost four years.

Adrian Friel, Alzheimer’s Society, said: “In the 11 years Alzheimer’s Society has been in the Antrim/Ballymena area, we’ve already seen huge changes, and we are overjoyed to open this brand new office to ensure we can now offer a modern professional service to anyone who may need information support and signposting.”

Valerie added: “Being diagnosed with dementia can be a daunting and bewildering experience, but with proper support from your dementia support worker and other staff members we can together enable people to take control of their lives and make sense of what is happening to them.

“As well as providing individual support through one to one dementia support visits, we run local services including activity groups and monthly carers support groups in Antrim and Ballymena.

“We offer awareness sessions, Dementia Information Programmes, and an in-depth, free four-week Training for Informal Caregivers programme available to anyone who provides unpaid care to a person with dementia, however informally.

“In September we are excited about welcoming the Dementia Community Roadshow to the area and would love everyone to join us at our events at Antrim Area Hospital on September 7 and Creative Gardens, Galgorm on September 8.”

Alzheimer’s Society has a National Dementia Helpline available to anyone who needs advice on dementia, or just needs a friendly ear to listen – 0300 222 1122 – and has information available online at alzheimers.org.uk