Horses Mouth Mentoring

When I was told about Horses Mouth, I really did not know what it was, nor did I understand what it was trying to achieve, however it soon became part of my life and found that as someone with this illness, I could reach out and help others whether they had dementia, were carers, or family members or friends.

I had been asked to do this originally by contacts within the Department of Health in London, because they thought I had the right manner and was fairly careful about what I did and said, so it was an honour to give it a go, not expecting it to get as far as it did

I have helped quite a few people and feel as if I have gained many new friends along the way.

 This is an independent and as far as I know its an International website, where people can go for impartial advice about an illness, or problem at work etc, and no matter what the problem is there is always someone there to support you day or night, although I might add that I am not.

Most of those on this website have experience in one form or another, and although dementia is a big topic, we always try to help, but never give medical advice.

The main problem is that although there are around 12 different types of dementia, there are over 120 variations of the illness and each person goes through the illness in vastly different ways with different signs and symptoms, so we are all individual in our own way.

Many people think that because they know one person with dementia, that they know everything there is to know about the illness, but this is far from the truth.

I feel that it is sometimes a very good thing to have somewhere like Horses Mouth, because when we get diagnosed with the illness such as dementia you feel totally numb for a while, then after a while when it has sunk in, the questions come but there is usually nowhere to go for the answers.
 I say this because many have said that they start to think of questions at night, when the help desks have closed down

This is where websites like Horses Mouth come into their own, as there are people there most of the time, and quite a few either have the illness or have someone in the family who has it.

The main problem I have come across is caused by the stigma in dementia, and some will not accept that they have the illness or that there is something wrong with them  
People in this case will not go to charities where someone may know them, so they go online and ask the questions. They are usually pointed towards the correct charity, in the end.
I will point out that no one knows who I am, or anything else, and contacts are not allowed, just in case something goes wrong, or we get too involved, and  I only give advice after thinking it through carefully
I will point out that I only do this on the days when I can think slowly and carefully, and nearly everyone in the end goes to the correct place whether it is there doctors, or a charity where they can get all of the help and support they really want, and once that happens I have achieved my goal.

I have had experience of being in a post like this for a leading charity, and really enjoyed doing it.
I also believe that many people could enjoy the experience of mentoring and supporting others in their in their time of need, and when it works well you really get a buzz and a sense of achievement, “A Job Well Done”.

So I can recommend it to anyone who wants to become a mentor, and help others through a difficult time, while helping yourself in the process.




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