De­men­tia vol­un­teers needed

Macclesfield Express - - EAST CHESHIRE HOSPICE -

EAST Cheshire Hos­pice has made a new call for vol­un­teers to help peo­ple with de­men­tia.

The char­ity is seek­ing vol­un­teers who can give a few hours each week to of­fer com­pan­ion­ship for some­one ex­pe­ri­enc­ing ear­lier stage de­men­tia.

Carer Lyn Deakin, whose hus­band Alan has had Alzheimer’s for four years, said com­pan­ions play a vi­tal role.

Lyn, part of a steer­ing group for the hos­pice’s new Com­mu­nity De­men­tia Com­pan­ion Ser­vice, said: “I see a lot of highly stressed carers and they need back-up. Car­ing for some­one takes up 24 hours a day and that respite help makes such a dif­fer­ence.

“Vol­un­teers will visit peo­ple in the com­mu­nity, ei­ther in their own homes or ac­com­pany them on a walk, to the shops or per­haps to pur­sue a hobby.

“I’d en­cour­age any­one who can help in some way to con­tact the hos­pice and there’s a par­tic­u­lar need for more male vol­un­teers.

“I know from our ex­pe­ri­ence us­ing the Sun­flower Cen­tre that the hos­pice does a fan­tas­tic job and can’t thank them enough.”

Dec­o­ra­tor Alan Ash­worth, from Mac­cles­field, urges other men to be­come vol­un­teers as he did seven years ago. Alan said: “I know that gen­er­ally there are fewer men than women in­volved and vol­un­teer­ing was the best thing I’ve done in my life.”

Claire Halsey, project lead for the Com­mu­nity De­men­tia Com­pan­ion Ser­vice, said: “Car­ing for some­one can be a tough job and wear­ing, no mat­ter how much we love them.

“Both carer and the per­son with de­men­tia will ben­e­fit from a change of scene once a week.

“We’re look­ing for friendly, car­ing peo­ple happy to give a few hours ev­ery week to of­fer com­pan­ion­ship to some­one with de­men­tia. Vol­un­teers will be given full train­ing and sup­port.”

Con­tact Claire on 01625 666990 or email chalsey@echos­ uk. The com­pan­ion ser­vice runs along­side a de­men­tia buddy project which is based solely at the Sun­flower Well­be­ing Cen­tre.

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