A NEW lifeline for dementia sufferers and their families has been set up in Kilmacolm after experts identified a shortage of support.

Alzheimer Scotland Inverclyde has launched a cafe which will be based in the village library and meet once a month.

It's hoped it will become a valuable source of advice and regular practical support for families who have been affected by the cruel disease.

Staff who do outreach work in the community say that feedback they had received showed that there was a pressing need for support in the area.

Elaine Edgar, a dementia advisor with Alzheimer Scotland, was pleased with the response to the initial meet-up.

She said: "It's been really rewarding.

"Quite a few people have been making inquiries, they have come in, sat down and had a coffee and chatted with us."

Elaine says the charity wanted to establish a dementia-friendly space in the heart of the village and Kilmacolm Library were quick to offer their support by accommodating them.

She said: "We will take the lead from people who come to the cafe over what sort of activities they would like to see.

"It will be up to them, whether they just want a chat or to do things like arts and crafts or play cards.

"We will be here and on hand to make the tea and coffee and provide information."

She will be joined by Bethan Dunsmore, who is an engagement and dementia friendly officer at local community care forum Your Voice Inverclyde.

Bethan said: "This will be an opportunity for people to meet with others in a similar situation and reduce their loneliness. Dementia can be an isolating journey for a lot of people and we want to address that."

Fiona McMillan, who popped into the cafe on its first day, said: "I think this is a great idea. It could be a lovely warm, welcoming space for lonely people. It will help people get back into normal village life."

The next meeting will be held on Wednesday December 20 and get-togethers will thereafter take place on the last Wednesday of every month, running from 11am to 12.45pm.