What is Care2Share?
Care2Share is a safe space run by Dementia Advisers for carers to share their thoughts, feelings and experiences with those in a similar position.
The group started in spring 2020 as carers told us they were feeling weary and isolated as much of their support was no longer available due to lockdown. Care2Share gives some of this support back to carers by facilitating discussion between peers and Dementia Advisers. By improving the wellbeing of carers, studies show we also improve the wellbeing of their cared for.
Sessions are one hour long and are a mix of open sessions, where we have a general chat among the group, and sessions with guest speakers to talk to the group about their specialised area of dementia care. Speakers that we have had in the past included Memory Clinic Nurses, Falls Nurse, Wellbeing Coach, Music4Dementia and more!
What can you gain?
Members have gained more knowledge and insight into their cared for’s dementia as well as being supported to carry out their role. Peers share hints and tips whilst Dementia Advisers share information and advice.
Many have enjoyed the social side of the groups and have gained friends. They look forward to seeing each other on screen and like to catch up with those who have expressed they are going through a particularly difficult time. Since the easing of lockdown, some of the members have arranged face-to-face visits, where they have met each other in person over a cuppa or enjoyed a nice walk together.
‘The opportunity to communicate with other carers in a supportive environment which can reduce feelings of isolation and enable us to continue providing support to people living with dementia. The benefits that I have had from being part of the group enabled me to continue providing support in a way that has benefitted my relative.’
‘I have found Care2Share useful in so many ways but I suppose the most important was knowing that I wasn’t alone. There is such a sense of support and safe environment to share information or concerns.’
‘There is usually a highlight at every meeting, whether in extra information about the disease and available support systems or just the feeling of “meeting up with friends” , interesting conversations, and sometimes humour too. I always feel more relaxed (at least for a while ! ) after the meetings and this certainly benefits my husband.’
‘Care2Share was my only effective source of information during the lockdowns.
Support and kindness, friendship and fun too. Wonderful to access all this in the comfort of our own homes, or even gardens.’
How to join
If you are a carer of one of our clients, have access to Zoom and would like to join Care2Share, please contact Katie Smok by phoning 07827235441 or sending an email to email@example.com. Katie will see which group would be best suited to you depending on availability.
After you sign the Care2Share Carer’s Agreement, you will then be registered and invited along to the sessions. We are happy to support you in joining the groups.
A pdf is available for you to download and keep for your own reference.
How often do the sessions run?
We hold the sessions once a month – when you register, we will offer you a space in the available group where you will receive more details on day and time.
What happens if I can’t make a session?
We understand that you may not be able to join every session. All we ask is that you let us know if you can’t make a session so we can update the register. If you don’t attend 3 consecutive sessions and we haven’t heard from you, we will reach out and ask if you wish to continue joining the sessions.
Can I remain a member if my cared for passes away or moves into full-time care?
We recognise that the loss of a cared for or a transition of care can be very difficult, and we want to enable you to share your experiences with the group. Talking is a powerful tool and we want you to be able to continue sharing. We therefore have a 3 session transition period where you can continue to join the group should you wish for a further 3 sessions after which we will do our best to find you more appropriate support.
Do I need to have my camera switched on for the session?
It is desirable for you to have your camera on to allow you to be involved in the session, however, we do appreciate that you may need to support your loved one and need to temporarily turn off your camera.
Will I be expected to talk/contribute to the sessions?
We realise that joining a group such as this can be nerving, so there is no expectation for you to speak, you are free to listen and observe until you feel comfortable enough to engage.
Is there a space where carers can talk outside of the group?
Anyone joining a C2S group will be invited to also join a WhatsApp group made up of the same people. This is to enable you to communicate with the group members in-between the online sessions. Please also remember that you are welcome to contact your dedicated Dementia Adviser if needed.
Are there Speakers at the group or are the sessions for peer support?
We will occasionally organise Speakers for a relevant topic, but this is not on a regular basis. We may also join up the Care2Share groups if we have a particular speaker of interest, we call this our Care2Share Supergroup.
Are facilitators allowed to pass on mobile numbers/email addresses of other members?
The facilitator cannot pass on another members contact details without expressed permission – e.g. for the WhatsApp group where the facilitator acts as the Admin. All email correspondence will be bcc’d.
What happens if I want to leave the group?
If you would like to leave the group, for whatever reason, just let the facilitator know and we can remove you from the register.