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A free service has been developed by a local counselling and psychotherapy charity to help couples when one partner has been diagnosed with dementia.  

Supported by Camden Council, the Tavistock Centre for Couple Relationships (TCCR) has launched the Living Together with Dementia programme to improve the quality of life of couples in Camden who are living with dementia.
Dementia can be difficult to understand and come to terms with, bringing challenges for couples at a time when the relationship with their partner is key. 
 
The Living Together with Dementia service focuses on improving communication and understanding between partners, promoting engagement in everyday activities and increasing resilience in the couple. The intervention is delivered by trained therapists and professionals who specialise in dementia care and will provide support and help with the changes accompanying dementia.
Research shows that the closer the relationship between couples, where one partner has been diagnosed with dementia, the slower the rate of decline in the person with dementia.
 
Andrew Balfour, Director of Clinical Services at TCCR explains “By focusing on helping to preserve the important relationship between the spouse carer and their partner with dementia, we aim to reduce carer stress and breakdown and to improve the life experience and mental health of both the carer and their partner with dementia.”
“Critical to this work is ensuring that both partners are treated with dignity, sensitivity and respect, and that the person with dementia is included throughout, particularly when addressing the couples’ experiences and the impact of the changes upon their relationship.”
 
The programme involves meeting with a therapist for 8-10 sessions, either at home or at TCCR’s offices in Central London. If necessary, further intermittent sessions can be offered, depending on the requirements of the couple.
 
The Living Together with Dementia service is free to couples living in Camden and is a self-referral service, therefore people do not have to wait to be referred by a GP or other health or social care professional.  If you, or someone you know, has been diagnosed with dementia and you would like to find out more about the service, please contact the programme administrator on 0207 380 1950 or visit tccr.org.uk.
 
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Notes to editors
• TCCR is a leading provider of practitioner training and provider of affordable counselling and psychotherapy services.  It also undertakes research and policy activities which encourage the development of effective and innovative relationship support services. 
• Visit www.tccr.org.uk and www.tccr.ac.uk.
• The Tavistock Centre for Couple Relationships (TCCR) was funded by Camden Council’s Innovation Fund to deliver the Living Together with Dementia intervention to Camden residents. Part of the funding was also allocated to TCCR to train staff in local agencies in delivering services to couples living with dementia.  
• For more information or to interview a member of the Living Together with Dementia programme team, please contact: Lauren Dunbevand, Marketing Executive, on 0207 380 1952 or email ldunbevand@tccr.org.uk