Feel the benefit of befriending service
A GERRARDS Cross man has called on more people to become friends with dementia sufferers to take advantage of rewarding benefits .
Dan has recently joined the Alzheimer’s Society’s befriending service, which aims to encourage more people to join as a New Year’s resolution.
Eighty-five per cent of people with dementia say that they struggle with isolation, loneliness and depression, and some also feel less confident about doing the activities they usually enjoy.
This pilot service provides companionship and sufferers are matched with people depending on their personality and common interests.
Dan said: “Befriending has many benefits – for the person with dementia it’s an opportunity for more socialising and activity, for the carer it’s valuable downtime and for myself it has been extremely rewarding.”
He added: “The training days for becoming a befriender were useful in themselves and the time commitment involved is minimal.
“I would wholeheartedly recommend it.”
A new group befriending scheme is being piloted in Aylesbury next year, which aims to support people with dementia to still be able to access their local community.
One of the Alzheimer’s Society’s long-standing volunteers Val said: “I lost my husband about four years ago and wanted something to do – I’ve been here ever since. It’s a happy group and it’s nice to know you’re helping in some way.”
Another volunteer Hazel said: “I lost my husband to Alzheimer’s about eight years ago and because of the input and help from Alzheimer’s Society at the time of his illness, I made friends and I went into volunteering as a way of socialising.”
Volunteer Mary added: “There are lots of smiles and the carers always appreciate what we do.”