An exciting new service that enables people with dementia to continue to do the things they love is being launched by Alzheimer’s Society in East Sussex – but to do this, more volunteers are needed to become befrienders.
Volunteer befrienders will be matched with people with dementia to help them live well with their condition.
A total of 85 per cent of people with dementia say that they struggle with isolation, loneliness and depression. Befrienders provide companionship and are matched with people depending on their personality and common interests, so those with the condition are able to do things they love from shopping, walking the dog, visiting the gardening centre or playing golf to simply having a chat and a cup of tea.
Corinna Irvine has been volunteering as a befriender for nearly 10 years. She said, ‘It has been a privilege to be accepted and trusted by those I visit at a time when they may be feeling scared and lonely.
“It is a mutually enjoyable time with a good deal of fun and laughter as we take an interest in each other‘s lives.”
Alzheimer’s Society volunteering officer for East Sussex, Louise Cruickshank, said, “Reducing social isolation and encouraging social participation and engagement in an enjoyable activity is important in helping to promote positive mental health and wellbeing. This service would not be able to function without the commitment and dedication of the befriending volunteers.’
Alzheimer’s Society will be in the Eastbourne Arndale Centre between 9am and 5pm on Friday, October 10 giving out helpful information and advice. For more information, visit alzheimers.org.uk/localinformation