Written by Active Minds on Monday the 1st of February 2016.
When it comes to coping with dementia, there are so many ways you can help – both for people that you know who are living with the condition and people that you don’t. If you’ve yet to come up with a New Year’s Resolution you want to stick to, here are some that will go a long way towards helping people with dementia across the UK.
Charities such as Dementia UK, Alzheimer’s Research UK, the Alzheimer’s Society, and so many more do fantastic work in the dementia care community. From providing helpful information to people with dementia and their carers to organising group therapy and funding groundbreaking research, these charities are at the forefront of the fight against dementia. But they are just charities and cannot function without the support of people who want to help. Whether you want to make a one-off donation for a special occasion or you’d like to make a monthly contribution, your money can go a long way to improving the lives of people with dementia across the UK.
Donate to Alzheimer’s Society here, Dementia UK here, or Alzheimer’s Research UK here (or simply Google ‘Dementia Donate’ to find out about and donate to the other charities doing amazing work in the UK).
Not everyone that wants to donate can afford it but that doesn’t mean you can’t help. Instead of donating the money yourself, why not try fundraising in your local community? Whether you love music, poetry, cooking, running, trekking, or any other hobby you can think of, you can organise anything from a coffee morning or a bake sale to a marathon or a full-blown festival to raise money for dementia care and research. For more information on opportunities in your area, check out the Alzheimer’s Society fundraising page
If you have a special skill in something like music or art, you could use your talents to help people with dementia by hosting group therapy sessions in your local care homes or community centres. Arts therapy has been proven extremely beneficial to people living with dementia as it can entertain, help people regain a sense of purpose, encourage communication and socialisation, and even unlock skills and memories hidden deep within the brain. To find out more about how you can get involved, get in touch with groups like Singing for the Brain, Lost Chord, or Arts 4 Dementia.
Of course you don’t have to have a special skill to help keep someone with dementia company. Dementia can be an incredibly lonely condition and many people go through it without a support network of friends and family around them. The Alzheimer’s Society Befriending scheme scheme helps to connect people with dementia to personalised companions who will take part in social visits, accompany them on outings or during activities, and help out with daily tasks like going to the shops. Volunteering as a befriender not only provides companionship and guards against loneliness, it also helps people with dementia to regain a sense of independence they might not have otherwise had. Find out more about the Befriending Service here.